Under strength Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning ended their second pre-season challenge match on a disappointing note after they went down 6-1 at Telford Tigers on Sunday.
Pete Russell’s team was without new Polish players, goalie Przemy Odrobny and forward, Mikolaj Lopuski, both having flown home to join the Poland national team for their Olympic qualifying games later this week. In addition Tom Carlon was also missing through injury.
Odrobny’s place between the pipes was taken by Jordan Hedley and he was soon picking the puck out of the net when Tigers scored short-handed through Matty Davies after 38secs – the penalty a delay of the game infringement handed out because face off was put back by 15 minutes.
Lightning twice had the advantage of an extra man after referee Stefan Hogarth called Phil Hill first for elbows and then holding within the space of just over four minutes. However Tigers’ rear-guard remained intact and they then doubled their lead with a Jason Silverthorn assisted goal from veteran Jonathan Weaver.
Tigers quickly lost the services of Danny Rose when he received five plus match for roughing after clashing with Frankie Bakrlik who was handed two minutes in the sin bin for an identical offence.
Lightning reduced the arrears as they were afforded a five on three spell thanks to Sam Zajac’s roughing penalty in the 15th minute – Milan Baranyk and Adam Carr having a hand in Bakrlik’s marker at 15mins 20secs.
That’s the way the period ended with Tigers narrowly ahead an advantage which remained the same until after the half way stage. That was despite an early powerplay due to a holding call on Sam Jones.
Russell called a timeout as the game reached its midpoint but it failed to produce the equaliser. Instead Adam Taylor added to the home side’s tally on 35mins 35secs, beating Hedley one on one – the supply coming from Weaver and Marcus Heywood.
Bakrlik was sin binned within 50secs of the start of the final session and that produced the opening for Heywood to make Lightning’s task of retrieving the encounter almost impossible with Tigers’ fourth goal, on the powerplay, at 41mins 36secs.
Lightning’s woes were increased further when Michal Satek was brought down en route to goal – Hogarth awarding a penalty shot which Satek duly put away at 51mins 43secs.
Just seconds later Tigers’ Adam Jones was sin binned for delaying the game but Lightning could make nothing of the chance and they fell further behind when Adam’s brother, Sam, was penalised for interference. Zajac was on the mark to make it 6-1 with only 1min 20secs remaining.
Lightning will be hoping that the opening challenge matches will serve to iron out any gremlins before the real campaign begins in two weeks’ time. By then they will have settled into regular training sessions having hardly had any ice time before the weekend. In contrast Telford had already had several training hours.
Man of the Match: Edward Knaggs
Report: Paul Brookman