Tom Carlon’s first goal for the team since his return to the club was not enough to stop the Smith Recycling MK Lightning from being edged out 3-2 at Telford Tigers on Sunday.
The win put Tigers three points clear at the top of the English Premier League with Lightning retaining second spot despite the loss.
Face off was delayed due to Lightning’s team bus breaking down en route to Shropshire and the visitors again started without their injured captain, Adam Carr, as well as Mikolaj Lopuski.
In a scoreless first period it was Lightning who suffered the only penalty when Lewis Christie was handed two minutes in the sin bin for interference. Slovakian Milan Kolena had a couple of decent efforts on the powerplay but Tigers were unable to find a way through.
Phil Hill and Michal Satek put Pete Russell’s men under pressure when Tigers were back at full strength before James Griffin stopped a Jason Silverthorn effort.
Telford ended the period the stronger of the two outfits with Lightning’s defence doing sterling work to remain on level terms.
Early in the second session the ever improving Glenn Billing tested goalie Ondrej Raszka who knocked the net off its moorings as the puck stayed out while Sam Jones fired wide from the blue line.
Frankie Bakrlik twice threatened after Tigers’ Rick Plant was called for holding the opponent’s stick on 25mins 59secs. Still though, the game stayed scoreless.
That changed 30 seconds after the mid-point of the encounter with Plant involved when Sam Oakford set up Joe Miller to defeat Prezmy Odrobny.
Griffin, Bakrlik and Leigh Jamieson went close to replying while Miller was serving time for hooking but were ultimately denied.
Telford then doubled their tally as Warren Tait and Jonathan Weaver had a hand in Matty Davies’ strike on 38mins 20secs.
This time there was a swift reply from Lightning with Lewis Hook and Christie in the build-up as Billing netted just 16 seconds later to give an interval score of 2-1 to Tigers.
The hosts started the final period with the better of the chances and again stretched their lead to two goals when Silverthorn fired past Odrobny at 44mins 38secs.
Thirty seconds later Russell called a timeout but on the restart it was still Odrobny who was the busier of the netminders – saving from Plant and Satek.
However Lightning once again cut the deficit to a single goal thanks to good work from Milan Baranyk and Michael Farn in the lead up to Carlon’s goal at 49mins 43secs.
Lightning failed to capitalise on the powerplay resulting from an unsportsmanlike penalty against Davies and as the game went into the last six minutes Miller should have scored to seal the tie for Tigers.
Odrobny then had to be on his guard to stop Doug Clarkson before the goalie was withdrawn for the extra skater.
Seconds later Tigers had a ‘goal’ disallowed and they stayed in front until the buzzer sounded.
Man of the Match: Glenn Billing
Report: Paul Brookman