Leigh Jamieson snatched victory for Smith Recycling MK Lightning against Telford Tigers in dramatic style 4.3 seconds from the end of overtime to put his team clear at the top of the English Premier League at MK Arena on Saturday.
Just as penalty shots loomed Craig Scott sent Jamieson away up the right and he seemed to feign a shot before planting the puck past goalie Ondrej Raszka to send the home fans into raptures as he sealed a 4-3 win.
Going into the game both sides shared top spot with 14 points apiece so this was always going to be a keenly fought battle – Lightning starting at a disadvantage without the injured Mikolaj Lopuski and youngster Ed Knaggs as well as Jordan Cownie against the four lines of Tigers.
It was no surprise that the game opened at a fast and furious pace but there was nothing to for either team to show for their efforts at the end of the first period.
Telford fans thought their team had taken the lead after Sam Jones was penalised for holding Jason Silverthorn in the third minute – but referee Stephen Matthews ruled that the puck had been kicked in by Corey McEwen.
There was plenty of pressure on the MK goal but the hosts were able to nullify any threat Telford posed.
Back at even strength Blaz Emersic tried his luck without success against goalie Ondrej Raszka before Matty Davies set up Doug Clarkson for a shot which netminder Przemy Odrobny took with ease.
A powerplay chance came the way of Lightning as Sam Oakford was sin binned for holding on 11mins 41secs. Again the short-handed side came under pressure but all MK were able to produce was a fierce Jamieson blast from the left which Raszka blocked.
MK defended superbly when Lewis Christie was called for a high stick on 15mins 11secs – Telford were kept high with much of the play forced into the neutral zone.
With under two minutes remaining Bobby Chamberlain clashed with Clarkson – the Telford man edging the battle as both were sin binned for four minutes for fighting.
Lightning ended the session a man short – James Griffin sent to the penalty box for delaying the game.
That penalty was to provide Telford with their opening to score the first goal on the powerplay as Davies sent Michal Satek away to beat Odrobny with a high shot into the net on 21mins 13secs.
For the next few minutes Tigers had the better of the play but were unable to add to their score with Jonathan Weaver and Sam Oakford both being denied by Odrobny.
But Lightning were able to hit back after McEwen was called for holding on 26mins 18secs.
Michael Farn unleashed a slapshot from the blue line – Raszka was unable to hold it and Milan Baranyk swept up at 27mins 7secs.
Soon after Odrobny made a great save from Jason Silverthorn before Weaver was handed a two minute penalty for slashing Baranyk. The MK man still managed to get a shot away.
No goal came of the powerplay. However back at even strength Emersic put Hook away up the left hand side and his razor sharp shot defeated Raszka to give the home outfit the lead at 35mins 17secs.
With less than two minutes left on the period Jones and Joe Miller clashed – both receiving four minutes for fighting. Satek followed them into the sin bin for tripping with 23 seconds left on the session.
Lightning failed to make the most of the powerplay going into the final period and on 43mins 37secs Weaver fed Macauley Heywood at the right pipe to beat Odrobny for the equaliser.
The hosts were not finished though – despite decent efforts from McEwen and Danny Rose.
With 9mins 43secs left of regulation time MK caused enough confusion around the Telford net for Bobby Chamberlain to slot home after good work by Baranyk and Jamieson.
Tigers hit back to level again when Weaver smashed the puck through a sea of players towards goal on 56mins 48secs – the final tip in coming from Satek.
That sent the encounter into an overtime period which looked as though it was going to end in stalemate until local hero Jamieson stepped up with decider to make it 4-3.
Man of the Match: Adam Carr
Report: Paul Brookman
NEXT HOME GAME: Lightning v Bracknell Bees, 7pm Saturday 15 October – tickets on 01908 540020 or http://iceaccount.co.uk/events/tickets_select?embed=1&client_id=16