Lewis Hook bagged a hat-trick to become clear top goal scorer for Smith Recycling MK Lightning as they hit back from a 3-1 deficit to win 6-5 in overtime at Guildford Flames on Sunday.
The young Brit’s trio of goals took his tally for the season so far to 24 – four ahead of Frankie Bakrlik who has hit a barren spell since scoring his last goal against Basingstoke Bison at the beginning of December.
The all-important match winning goal came 1min 41secs into the extra period with Michael Farn notching his second goal of the campaign – less than a week after registering his first against Bison.
Yet at the half way point of the game at the Spectrum Centre it looked so different after Lightning had surrendered a 1-0 first period lead to go 3-1 behind when Michal Satek – signed from Telford Tigers a few weeks ago – beat netminder Przemy Odrobny in controversial circumstances.
The net appeared to be off its moorings before Satek’s shot, set up by Ben Campbell and Jens Eriksson, crossed the line at 29mins 52secs. Yet after discussion with his fellow officials, referee Stephen Matthews allowed the goal.
It was Hook who put the visitors in front while they were short-handed with Glenn Billing serving time for tripping in the 11th minute. Twenty-six seconds later James Griffin set the young sniper away to beat goalie Dean Skinns one on one at 12mins 10secs.
Lightning did better when Lewis Christie was called for delaying the game after hitting the puck out of the ice area in the 14th minute – this time there was no way through for the home team.
The second session was only 2mins 31secs old when Leigh Jamieson was sin binned for holding the opponent’s stick. That gave Flames the chance to edge in front with the extra man, Satek and Campbell having a hand in Jez Lundin’s marker on 24mins 3secs.
The home crowd were given further cause for joy just over five minutes later with Satek’s dubious third goal.
However the travelling fans did not have to wait long for a response from their heroes with good work by Antti Hölli and Jordan Cownie making the supply for Blaz Emersic to send the puck past Skinns on 31mins 16secs.
By the second break it was all square once more – partly thanks to a hooking penalty on Tom Duggan after 38mins 49secs. MK were able to capitalise on the powerplay through Hook, provided by Bakrlik and Cownie at 39mins 13secs.
Hook carried on where he left off at the start of the third period after being supplied by Cownie and Jamieson – putting Lightning 4-3 to the good after 41mins 49secs.
Flames were not going to give in easily though and they came back with an equaliser from Ben Campbell after 48mins 44secs.
With less than six minutes remaining of regulation time the home side then retook the lead with Duggan registering his second of the game at 54mins 46secs.
Back came Lightning though to equalise through captain Adam Carr, assisted by Farn and Milan Baranyk at 57mins 18secs.
Fifty-nine seconds remained when coach Pete Russell called a timeout, followed swiftly by his opposite number, Paul Dixon, doing the same. Neither had any effect on the scoring with the scores tied at 5-5 at the end of 60 minutes.
Unlike the previous evening the night was not to end in disappointment for Lightning thanks to Cownie and Hölli being able to set up Farn for the winner on 61mins 41secs to send the MK Army home happy.
Man of the Match: #11 Lewis Hook
Report: Paul Brookman