A scintillating first period blitz sunk Peterborough Phantoms when Smith Recycling MK Lightning maintained their unbeaten record to stay top of the English Premier League at Bretton on Sunday.
Lightning smashed in a trio of unanswered goals to establish a 3-0 lead at the first interval and leave Phantoms not knowing what had hit them on the way to a 5-2 victory. It stretched MK’s undefeated run to six games.
Petr Stepanek tested goalie Przemy Odrobny early on but it was not long before the visitors were a goal to the good with James Griffin and Leigh Jamieson having a hand in Mikolaj Lopuski’s opener on 3mins 35secs.
Lightning kept Phantoms at bay while Griffin was serving two minutes for boarding and back at even strength they doubled their tally when Craig Scott set up Frankie Bakrlik for the first of a hat-trick of goals on 6mins 34secs.
Phantoms coach Slava Koulakov immediately called a time out but it had little effect – at least in the first period because the visitors were able to increase their lead to three while Will Weldon was in the sin bin for a check from behind on 11mins 4secs. It took Bakrlik, assisted by Sam Jones and Lewis Hook, all of seven seconds to find the net.
Darius Pliskauskas had an effort blocked en route to goal in the final couple of minutes of the opening period but that was as good as it got for the home side.
They did go a little way to making amends when Sam Towner was provider for Ales Padelek to defeat Odrobny on 23mins 11secs. It proved to be the only goal of the middle stanza – not that it was without scoring chances.
A cross checking call on Phantoms’ Owen Griffiths was followed shortly after by an interference call on Blaz Emersic. On the latter Stepanek had a couple of efforts. His first saw him skate to the net but shoot wide and he then had a shot blocked.
Peterborough goalie Janis Auzins made the most of a touch by Bakrlik who was given two minutes for interference in the final four minutes of the session. But no goal ensued with the period ending 3-1 to Lightning.
Two quick penalties against Phantoms’ Tom Stubley for cross checking and Bakrlik for slashing did not see either team add to their tally.
However Lightning took the score to 4-1 when Milan Baranyk tipped in a Lopuski pass at 47mins 46secs.
Phantoms eventually hit a powerplay goal after Lopuski was sin binned for delay of the game in the 52nd minute – Marc Levers sending home James Ferrara’s set up on 53mins 25secs.
Auzins was withdrawn for the extra skater in the final minute or so but it failed to have the desired effect. Instead Bobby Chamberlain went agonisingly close on the empty net before, right on the buzzer, Bakrlik rounded off his hat-trick to make it 5-2, ending a very satisfactory weekend for Lightning.
Man of the Match: #19 Leigh Jamieson
Report: Paul Brookman