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REPORT: Lightning warm up for Cup Final with dominant win over Bees (11 March)
- Category: Milton Keynes Lightning
- Published on 12 March 2017
- Written by Milton Keynes Lightning
- Hits: 141
Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning completed their home league fixtures in style with a 6-3 victory over Bracknell Bees - a result that was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested.
Only a couple of lapses gave Bees a chance to make the score more respectable with Lightning not really having to hit top gear - perhaps thankfully bearing in mind the upcoming English Premier League Cup Final.
Lightning may have only led by a single goal at the first break but there was little doubt of their dominance of the play - Tom Carlon testing opposing netminder Matthew Smital within the opening minute.
When Bracknell's Joshua Smith was penalised for tripping after 1min 44secs MK had plenty of pressure but not enough shots on target, Jordan Cownie going closest.
In a sign of what was to come Lewis Hook went solo up the left but was unable to beat netminder Matthew Smital, while seconds later Antti Hölli saw his shot blocked.
Bees' resistance cracked when James Griffin's blue line blast was blocked but not held - Blaz Emersic was there to finish off at 6mins 38secs.
The visitors levelled on 9mins 48secs when goalie Przemy Odrobny - who up that point had not had a single shot to save - was caught out after being committed making a block from Alex Barker, the puck running loose for Shaun Thompson to put into the net.
It was not long though before the home outfit were back in front - Cownie claiming the lightest of touches to a fine blue line shot from Ed Knaggs - the youngster unlucky not to have been able to claim his first goal of the season on 11mins 41secs.
Hölli ended the first session in the sin bin, having been called for holding on 18mins 38secs. But Bees powerplay lines proved ineffective with the man advantage spilling over the middle stanza.
Back at full strength MK quickly added to their tally as Hölli was involved when Hook made the pass for Cownie to fire past Smital on 21mins 46secs.
To their credit Bees continued to battle and they were given some hope when Josh Tetlow set up Luka Basic to shoot past Odrobny at 26mins 50secs to make it 3-2.
A couple of minutes later Emersic supplied Frankie Bakrlik for an effort which Smital was able to block, ahead of Odrobny being called to action to thwart Rio Grinell-Parke.
Penalties on Matt Foord for a high stick on Emersic and Tom Carlon for interference on the netminder came and went without further score - although Emersic went agonisingly close while his team were short-handed as his shot hit the pipework.
However just two seconds after returning to full strength Lightning extended the gap again - Bakrlik scoring unassisted at 37mins 18secs to give his side a 4-2 lead going into the second interval.
The third period saw MK tighten their grip on the game as Bees offered little in terms of offence - coming up with just five shots in total to MK's 18 over 20 minutes.
It was little surprise that the hosts added to the total on 48mins 41secs with Emersic releasing Carlon up the left hand side to unleash a cracking shot into the goal.
Less than two minutes later - on 50mins 22secs -the score became 6-2 when Hook passed from the left for Hölli to fire home first time.
Bees registered what was by that time nothing more than a consolation goal at 51mins 48secs as Odrobny was beaten by Barker's shot from a Shaun Thompson set up to make the final score 6-3.
Man of the Match: Blaz Emersic
Report: Paul Brookman