Basingstoke Bison ended Smith Recycling MK Lightning’s four game winning streak in emphatic style in Hampshire on Sunday – putting a dent in the city side’s hopes of keeping pace with league leaders Telford Tigers.
Short-benched Lightning eventually went down 4-0 – the last goal registered by Tomas Karpov being an empty net affair after goalie Przemy Odrobny was withdrawn in favour of the extra skater.
Lightning started the game without Bobby Chamberlain and Michael Farn in addition to Glenn Billing who had missed the previous evening’s win over Sheffield. Long term injury victim Mikolaj Lopuski was also absent. Bison started without Aaron Connolly and Alan Lack.
The clash was just 3mins 46secs old when Luc Johnson was sin binned for tripping and Bison were able to take full advantage – Derek Roehl firing in unassisted right on the end of the powerplay at 5mins 46secs.
That was to prove to be the only goal of the first period even though referee Stefan Hogarth dished out penalties to both outfits.
Jordan Cownie was caught cross-checking in the sixth minute and he was only back on the ice for less than two minutes when James Griffin replaced him in the cooler for kneeing. Bison’s powerplay was ended prematurely thanks to a slashing penalty on Jan Jarabek which reduced both teams to four skaters.
The hosts then suffered two quick penalties – Declan Balmer (cross-checking) and Joe Baird (charging) which saw MK have a five on three advantage. Griffin shot wide before Balmer left the sin bin while Blaz Emersic and Frankie Bakrlik both tried to level while MK were still five on four.
Matt Towalski was next in the penalty box for cross-checking in the final 90 seconds of the session but that again came to nothing.
The middle stanza saw plenty more penalties Sam Jones going for roughing inside the first three minutes before Balmer and Jones were removed from the action – the Bison man for four minutes for cross-checking and roughing and his opponent for two minutes for roughing.
Still though the score stayed close at 1-0 to Bison.
It was a cross-checking call on Bakrlik in the 33rd minute that eventually made the difference – Ciaran Long and Rene Jarolin setting up Dan Davies to beat Odrobny on 34mins 42secs to make it 2-0.
A two goal deficit was not unsurmountable going into the final period but with four players missing Lightning faced a tough task.
In the end it was not to be although Bakrlik and Tom Carlon attempted to give MK an early boost while Craig Scott’s
hard 48th minute shot went wide.
Any hope Lightning had was extinguished when Roehl supplied Long for the home outfit’s third strike at 52mins 10secs – Long having come out of the penalty box to race for the puck as Odrobny came out of his goal.
With 4mins 21secs left Lightning called a timeout and pulled Odrobny in favour of the extra skater – a move which backfired thanks to a short-handed empty net goal from Karpov at 57mins 10secs.
There was no way back from then on after a difficult night for Lightning.
Man of the Match: Lewis Hook
Report: Paul Brookman
NEXT HOME GAME: Lightning v Telford Tigers, 7pm Saturday 5 November – tickets on 01908 540020 or http://iceaccount.co.uk/events/tickets_select?embed=1&client_id=16