Adam Carr continued where he left off, putting Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning on the road to a hard-earned 2-1 victory at Swindon Wildcats on Wednesday.
After grabbing the winner on Sunday at Sheffield the Lightning captain struck first to give the travelling side the lead on 4mins 49secs – defenceman Ed Knaggs earning his second assist of the season with Lewis Hook picking up his seventh helper.
Mid-week encounters between Lightning and Wildcats at The Link Centre have been notoriously difficult over the years so Carr’s strike helped settle the side.
Seconds before goalie Przemy Odrobny had denied Jonas Hoog and it was Wildcats who immediately tried to get back in the game after the opener. Sam Bullas tested the MK stopper before Wildcats netminder Stevie Lyle was called into action to stop Tom Carlon from doubling the advantage.
Former Telford man Max Birbraer was sin binned for roughing in the seventh minute ,but apart from a long Frankie Bakrlik shot blocked by Lyle there was little to trouble the short-handed outfit.
Lee Richardson was next to get a decent shot on Odrobny – unfortunately for him the Pole was up to the challenge while Bakrlik’s 14th minute effort went wide.
It was a lead Lightning were to hold until just after the mid-point of the clash – they could have made it 3-0 a couple of minutes later when Bobby Chamberlain saw his close range shot saved by the netminder.
Blaz Emersic’s fine work kept Tomas Malasinski away from the MK net ahead of an Adam Finlinson effort which went close to cutting the deficit.
Wildcats did cut the deficit however on 30mins 5secs as Birbraer set up Aaron Nell to defeat Odrobny for the only occasion of the evening.
While Lightning were still recovering from that goal Jan Kostal tried his luck with no success – Odrobny making the stop.
Odrobny then got in the way of a long Hoog blast with Lightning threatening again as Hook had his shot blocked by Mark Smith.
Milan Baranyk and Mark Smith ended up in the sin bins after they clashed in the 35th minute – the Wildcats man for holding and his counterpart for roughing.
Despite the sides both being reduced to four skaters neither side could score and there was no further goals before the second period expired, Lightning ending on the powerplay as Birbraer was called for kneeing with 56 seconds left.
The powerplay going over into the final session produced nothing of note as far as scoring opportunities were concerned.
Back at full strength Birbraer tried to level the tallies but saw his effort go wide.
It was Swindon who were next to have powerplay advantage following a 43rd minute holding the stick penalty on
Bakrlik – the best they could do was a Nell right shot saved by Odrobny.
As the game went on, Lightning tightened their grip on securing the points. But they were unable to add to their tally when Nell was penalised for delay of the game with less than seven minutes remaining.
The biggest threat came after Malasinski broke clear and fired a clear shot on Przemy Odrobny who denied his fellow countryman with less than five minutes remaining.
With 1min 33secs left Wildcats called a timeout and immediately withdrew Lyle for the extra skater in a last throw of the dice.
However Lyle had to return to the net briefly following an offside call against the team which threw play back in their defensive zone.
Lightning went into the final 29 seconds two skaters short after Odrobny was called for delay of the game – Chamberlain sitting the penalty – but Wildcats were unable to find the equaliser.
Man of the Match: Bobby Chamberlain
Report: Paul Brookman