A visit to Milton Keynes Lightning ended with a 47-19 shot advantage but no table points as the home team took an early 2nd period 2 goal lead and held the grip the rest of the way during a 4-3 win over the Flames.
Despite a better than 2 to 1 shot advantage in the opening frame, the visitors from Surrey went through 20 minutes knotted at a goal each when Michael Fine for Lightning and Evan Janssen for the Flames traded goals 50 seconds apart just inside the back half of the set.
Less than 3 minutes into the 2nd, goals by Tim Wallace and Andreas Valdix, these ones separated by just 48 seconds, had the home team suddenly in command at 3-1. A little more than 2 minutes from period close, the visitors made their 3rd period work a little easier when Ian Watters shovelled home a Jordan Abt delivery to complete 40 minutes just a goal off the pace.
At 49:01 Nelson Armstrong re-stored a 2 goal Lightning lead. Jamie Crooks replied a few minutes later to bring his side again within a single, but that was as close as they could get. A Lightning penalty with 2 and a half minutes to go put the Flames on a powerplay that nearly ran down before another put them to a last minute 5 on 3 advantage for 12 seconds. The made it 6 on 3 with Chris Carrozzi on the bench and it went back to 6 on 4 for the final 30 second stretch, but with no last second heroics the game timed out on a Flames defeat.
“The turning point in the game was about 5-6 minutes early in the 2nd when Lightning had the 2 quick goals, and then had a few other opportunities after that,” admitted Head Coach Paul Dixon.
“Though it did not last long, MK made the most of really the only time in the game when they had any kind of reasonably sustained pressure.”
“In the last half of that period we turned it around again, but by then you are chasing. All the pressure is on you to score and you are left with no room for any more mistakes.”
“Overall we had the vast majority of the play and the opportunities, but the timing of the way things panned out tonight made our jobs difficult and we ended up out of the points.”
“It is a tough way to continue on now to Fife who have beaten us every time this season, so it is a good challenge for us to see how we reply on Saturday night in a tough building against a team who has had our number all year.”