Lightning strike too early

Ice hockey - 50 per cent win rate for tough Septem­ber is pleas­ing

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport -

This game was over by the time Phan­toms woke up.

The city men were pun­ished for a lack­lus­tre start by their fiercest ri­vals as hopes of be­com­ing the first team to beat the ti­tle-chas­ing Lightning quickly turned to dust.

Even their usu­ally de­pend­able net­min­der, Ja­nis Auzins, was beaten by a cou­ple of shots hewould­nor­mally be ex­pected to keep out as Phan­toms were caught cold.

Mil­ton Keynes were in con­trol from the mo­ment Miko­laj Lo­puski flum­moxed Auzins with a blast from dis­tance and ex-Phan­toms man Craig Scottsoon­putasec­ond goal on a plate for Fran­tisek Bakr­lik fol­low­ing a break­away just as a Phan­toms pow­er­play ended.

And when Bakr­lik lashed in a third goal dur­ing a nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage for the visi­tors with lit­tle more than 11 min­utes on the clock, the writ­ing waswell andtruly on the wall for Phan­toms.

They were much i mproved in the sec­ond ses­sion and cut their ar­rears when Ales Padelek lashed a shot past Prze­mys­law Odrobny, while the Lightning shot­stop­per made fine saves to pre­vent Dar­ius Pliskauskas and Con­nor Glos­sop mak­ing fur­ther in­roads.

Phan­toms con­tin­ued to ask plenty of ques­tions in the fi­nal pe­riod, but they were­un­donebyafourthMil­ton Keynes goal when Mi­lan Baranyk tipped in a Lo­puski shot.

Phan­toms­didreply­when Marc Levers got a touch to a James Fer­rara ef­fort dur­ing a pow­er­play and the im­pres­sive Petr Stepanek was only de­nied a fine in­di­vid­ual strike by Odrobny.

But it was MK who struck again when Bakr­lik com­pleted his hat-trick with an emp­tynet­goal­whichref­eree Matt Thompson al­lowed to standinthe­fi­nalsec­on­de­ven though it ap­peared to cross the line af­ter the buzzer had sounded.

Marc Levers in ac­tion against MK Lightning.

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