Ben Foster registered his first hat-trick in Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning colours as his side
recorded their biggest win of the season with an 8-2 result against Edinburgh Capitals at MK Arena
Kyle Essery returned to the team from injury with Lightning also including Peterborough Phantoms
two-way players, Ed Knaggs and Glenn Billing in the line-up. Knaggs collected his first point for the
home outfit, assisting on Foster’s opening strike which came just 2mins 39secs into the game while
the other helper went to Essery.
But if home supporters thought that would be the opening of the floodgates against an Edinburgh
side with barely enough imports to fill two lines then they were given a sharp rebuke when the
Russian Igor Valeyev replied less than 90 seconds later at 4mins 3secs.
And there was more to come after Patrik Moisio was sin binned for cross checking in the tenth
minute the visitors took the lead for the only time, short-handed when Dylan Anderson put Ainars
Podzins in position to beat netminder, Miika Wiikman at 11mins 37secs.
But Capitals’ joy didn’t last too long thanks to Carl Hudson who was set up by Denny Kearney and
Kevin King as he fired past Jordan McLaughlin at 15mins 26secs on the powerplay – Denis Trakhanov
in the box for tripping – to give a 2-2 scoreline at the first break.
It was in the second session that Lightning went to work in taking control of the encounter. A
Valeyev penalty for delaying the game came and went unpunished but when Rihards Grigors was
called for slashing in the 25 th minute it was punished with a Christian Isackson goal, ably assisted by
Paul Phillips and King on 26mins 25secs.
Isackson returned the compliment with a great back pass when he set up captain King for Lightning’s
fourth goal after 31mins 50secs and the match slipped further away from the Scots when, exactly
four minutes later, Evan Stoflet supplied Foster for his second strike.
That prompted a changed of netminder for Capital with Tyler Beskorowany replacing McLaughlin
between the pipes for the rest of the period. However the Brit was back in goal for the start of the
third session and it was not long before he was picking the puck out of the goal again – Denny
Kearney now wearing the number seven ‘blood shirt’ following a second period clash netted from
Isackson within 47 seconds of the restart to make it 6-2 on a powerplay resulting from boarding call
on Grigors hanging over from the middle stanza.
It was not long before Edinburgh ran into further penalty trouble with Valeyev next in the cooler for
hooking – a penalty quickly punished with Guillaume Doucet the provider for Foster to seal his man
of the match award with a hat-trick goal from the left circle just 25 seconds later at 41mins 50secs.
Lightning could, by now, afford to relax a little but there was still time to ensure their biggest win
when King was the supplier for Isackson with a fantastic wrap-around goal time at 49mins 38secs.
From that there was no need for too much further effort from Lightning – particularly as Capitals ran
into penalty problems in the closing minutes with no less than three players visiting the sin bin in the
last eight minutes.
It was a satisfying result for MK fans and notable for the fact that the team incurred just one penalty
– that of a slashing call on Jonathan Boxill – during the game.
Man of the match: Ben Foster.
By Paul Brookman