Bees steal MK’s thun­der to end in sev­enth heaven

Mil­ton Keynes Thun­der 5 Brack­nell Bees 7

The Wokingham Paper - - ROUND-UP - By TOM CROCKER tcrocker@wok­ing­ham­pa­per.co.uk

FRANKIE BAKRLIK and Shaun Thomp­son both bagged hat­tricks as Brack­nell pro­duced a storm­ing come­back to kick­off their league cam­paign in style.

Bees looked in trou­ble at 5-3 down in the third, but they re­sponded with four an­swered goals to tri­umph 7-5 in Mil­ton Keynes.

Ge­orge Nor­cliffe also found the net in the dra­matic vic­tory but new head coach Scott Spear­ing was quick to praise the work of his hat­trick heroes.

“It was a good start to the sea­son,” he told The Wok­ing­ham Pa­per.

“We kind of ex­pected a lot from MK and knew they were go­ing to come hard.

“The NIHL teams from last year, we know they’re go­ing to work hard, try to wear us down and pick up on our mis­takes and try and slow the game down a lit­tle bit.

“But that’s kind of to be ex­pected.

“I thought we played OK for the first two pe­ri­ods but when we went down 5-3 in the third I had a chat with the boys and we turned it on and pulled back the win.

“It was a lot of char­ac­ter shown to be able to pull back from 5-3 to 7-5, four unan­swered goals and I was re­ally pleased with Thommo (Thomp­son), a proper leader on the team, scor­ing the goals.

“And ob­vi­ously Frankie Bakrlik as well scor­ing the three goals on the PP, so a good per­for­mance from our key guys.”

It was a step into the un­known for Bees, skat­ing out with a new squad and also in a new league af­ter drop­ping down from the

Elite Premier League af­ter a league reshuffle.

The first pe­riod started brightly with both net­min­ders called into ac­tion and it was the vis­i­tors who took the lead with Thomp­son tee­ing up Bakrlik to fire home.

Cap­tain Matt Fo­ord squan­dered good chances to in­crease the ad­van­tage and MK lev­elled up on their own powerplay with for­mer Bee Rio Grinell-Parke tuck­ing into an empty net.

Into the sec­ond pe­riod and Brack­nell moved 2-1 up as Thomp­son again set up Bakrlik.

Five min­utes later and Thun­der were back among the goals with Gareth O’Fla­herty equal­is­ing be­fore Grinell-Parke added his sec­ond of the evening.

How­ever, Thomp­son soon found Bakrlik for a third time and he made no mis­take in com­plet­ing his hat-trick to level up at 3-3 head­ing into the fi­nal stanza.

But Thun­der opened up a two-goal cush­ion for the first time with around 10 min­utes to play thanks to strikes from Con­nor Goode and Jamie

Line.

Cue a stir­ring Bees re­sponse, pulling one back just 36 sec­onds later with big Czech Bakrlik this time turn­ing provider, pick­ing out Thomp­son to make it 5-4.

And min­utes later Thomp­son scored again to level the con­test, round­ing net­min­der Tom An­netts.

But Brack­nell were not done there, tak­ing the lead again just 23 sec­onds af­ter the restart as the puck came out to Nor­cliffe to smash home a fine wrist shot to send the trav­el­ling Bees fans wild.

And the win was sealed as Thomp­son joined Bakrlik on three goals in the clos­ing mo­ments.

“Frankie is a top im­port in any league,” said Spear­ing.

“I’m very pleased that we were able to bring him back.

“It does what it says on the tin re­ally, he’s there to score goals and be the leader as an im­port and lead the way with goals and that’s ex­actly what he’s done.

“He got five points in the game and that’s ex­actly what he’s there for and then the same thing with Thommo (Thomp­son).

“We know he’s not nec­es­sar­ily the leader in the changing room, but he’s 100% a leader on the ice the way he plays.

“He pretty much out­works ev­ery­one on ev­ery sin­gle shift and he puts the puck in the back of the net.

“That’s ex­actly why I wanted him back this year.”

Bees travel to Peter­bor­ough Phan­toms on Satur­day (7pm) be­fore wel­com­ing Bas­ingstoke

Bi­son to The Hive on Sun­day evening (6pm).

Pic­ture: Kevin Sly­field

Frankie Bakrlik scored a hat-trick for Bees

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