Captain Adam Carr bagged his first goal of the season to ensure Smith Recycling MK Lightning kept up the pressure in the race for the English Premier League title at Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday.
‘Carsy’ struck 2mins 31secs from the final buzzer to give Lightning a 4-3 win in tensely fought battle at iceSheffield – thus sealing his side’s first four point weekend since the end of September.
Lightning stay second in the table – three points behind Telford Tigers who also won twice over the weekend.
The visitors twice took the lead before the final period began with the teams all-square at three goals each.
By the time Steeldogs went in front through an Andrew Hirst powerplay marker on 7mins 49secs both outfits had chances to score with Jordan Cownie’s second minute effort going high over the bar before Arnoldas Bosas was denied by goalie Przemy Odrobny. Liam Kirk’s shot for the hosts soon after met a similar fate.
Leigh Jamieson was handed a two minute tripping penalty on 7mins 14secs and that allowed Hirst to register 35 seconds later.
The lead lasted just over four minutes with Milan Baranyk and Lewis Christie having a part in Craig Scott’s delayed penalty goal at 11mins 55secs. It was the third goal Lightning had scored in such circumstances over the weekend.
Less than two minutes later Pete Russell’s side edged ahead as Frankie Bakrlik was on target from a set up by Blaz Emersic and James Griffin.
Lewis Hook went close in the 16th minute with Odrobny called into action again a minute or so later to thwart Tomas Brcko. But the stopper could do nothing to prevent Cole Shudra from supplying Pavel Mrna for the Steeldogs’ equaliser on 18mins 25secs – the first session ending 2-2.
A pair of Ed Knaggs blasts were seen off by Steeldogs early in the second period ahead of a charging call on Ashley Calvert. The home side, however, kept Lightning at bay on the powerplay.
Jamieson was back in the sin bin in the 27th minute for hooking – resulting in a powerplay which came to nothing for the home side.
It was not until after the halfway mark that there was another goal and when it came it went to Lightning on a powerplay following a charging penalty against Tim Smith. Jordan Cownie and Tom Carlon did the work to give Bakrlik the opportunity to fire past goalie James Hadfield at 32mins 23secs.
There was a third visit to the sin bin for Jamieson in the 34th minute – this time for holding but still Steeldogs could not breakthrough. Indeed they suffered a shorthanded spell themselves – Calvert off the ice for slashing – before they eventually equalised through Mrna 28 seconds from the break.
With three seconds left on the period Steeldogs thought they had taken the lead but the ‘goal’ was washed out by referee Stefan Hogarth who spotted the puck was kicked in.
There was all to play for as the third stanza got underway but the travelling outfit couldn’t capitalise when Mrna was penalised for embellishment early on although Jamieson had a long shot blocked by Hadfield.
Ben Morgan forced a fine save from Odrobny seconds before Glenn Billing fired wide of target in the 48th minute.
Lightning then had a ‘goal’ disallowed for having a player in the goalie’s crease but there was nothing wrong when Jamieson set up Carr to defeat Hadfield on 57mins 29secs for what was the deciding goal.
Hadfield was pulled in favour of the extra skater after Steeldogs timeout with just 37 seconds left but it was of no avail with Lightning holding on for the 4-3 success.
Man of the Match: Adam Carr
Report: Paul Brookman