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Milton Keynes Lightning 4 - 1 Bracknell Bees (Sat 9th Jan 2016)

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Bracknell Bees logo Match report by John Slater

The Bracknell Bees made the trip of Milton Keynes to take on the third placed Lightning on Saturday. They went into the game missing Lukas Smital through injury but added Brandon Miles, Harvey Hind-Pitcher and Josh Martin to their line-up whilst the home side Lightning were missing Grant McPherson and Martti Jarventie. Referee Dan Boardman took charge of the match with Nathan Carmichael and Richard Fraley running the lines. Alex Mettam and Dean Skinns started in nets for the respective teams.

Photo supplied by Bracknell BeesThe Bees needed a solid start to their road game in an effort to break the losing streak that they are currently on but things didn’t get off to a good start as Bees forward Milan Kostourek was called for a tripping minor with only a minute of the game gone. The Bees penalty kill unit however stood firm to the early man advantage for the home side Lightning. With the penalty killed it was the home side who maintained control of the puck and applied pressure but without creating any clear cut chances. Half way through the opening period Lewis Hook was penalised for holding for the Lightning and it was the Bees turn on the powerplay. With only three seconds remaining with the man advantage the Bees made it count as a nice pass from behind the net by Milan Kostourek found Vanya Antonov who fired over Dean Skinns shoulder and into the net to give the Bees the lead. The lead was short lived however as only forty seconds later Jordan Cownie equalised for the Lightning and following more pressure by the home side the found the go ahead goal a little over four minutes later. This time it was Blaz Emersic whose big shot found a way past Alex Mettam in the Bees net. Tempers frayed as the period closed out with James Galazzi and Carl Graham exchanging words with Leigh Jamieson and Bobby Chamberlain but no penalties were given and the period finished with the home side holding the narrow one goal lead.

The second period was a quieter affair for both sides. Early chances for Frantisek Bakrlik for the home side and Milan Kostourek for the travelling Bees were both well saved before the game settled into mid ice battles for possession with limited clear chances on either net. With just under half of the second stanza gone it looked like the Lightning had extended their lead as Bobby Chamberlain found a way past Alex Mettam in the Bees net, fortunately for the Bees however the referee adjudged that the net had been off before the puck crossed the goal line. Bees defenceman Tom Relf was called for interference with eleven minutes remaining in the period but the Bees saw off the man advantage well and were unlucky to see a Milan Kostourek short-handed quick break saved well by Dean Skinns. With a little under five minutes left in the period it was the Bees power play unit who went into action as Markku Tahtinen was called for roughing for the home side. Despite pressure from the Bees the Lightning saw off the penalty and with only a minute left on the clock in the second twenty minutes Bees defenceman Carl Graham was given a holding minor meaning the Lightning would start the final period with a minute of power play. The period ran down scoreless with the Lightning still holding the narrow one goal lead.

Into the final period with all still to play for the Bees saw off the minute of power play advantage for the Lightning that carried over from the second period but forty-five seconds later the home side extended their lead as James Griffin found Bobby Chamberlain who finished past Alex Mettam in close. With the two goal lead the home side started to dominate possession of the puck in an effort to deny the Bees any chance of getting back into the game. A penalty shot was awarded to the home side as Milan Kostourek was adjudged to have tripped an on rushing Milton Keynes player. Jordan Cownie stepped up for the home side to take the penalty shot but he couldn’t convert. In the forty fifth minute of the game Scott Spearing headed to the penalty box for the Bees on a hooking minor but the Bees saw off the advantage well. The Bees Jan Bendik was then assessed an interference minor but the Lightning’s Frantisek Bakrlik was also called for diving so the penalties offset as coincidental. As the minutes ticked on Scott Spearing was again called for hooking, with ten minutes remaining in the game – again though the Bees penalty kill unit and netminder Alex Mettam stood firm to all the home side could throw at them. As the game entered the last five minutes however the Lightning did manged to extend their lead further as Jordan Cownie scored his second of the night. Only seconds later the Bees found themselves on the power play as Glenn Billing was called for goaltender interference. The Bees dug deep and pushed forward on the powerplay but the home side Lightning were happy to see the remaining minutes out and seal the victory.

Man of the match awards went to Jan Bendik for the travelling Bees and to Jordan Cownie for the home side Lightning.

Match stats
Period scores: 2-1, 0-0, 2-0
Lightning scorers: Cownie 2+0; Griffin 1+1; Emersic 1+0; Knaggs, Chamberlain, Hook, Farn & Tahtinen 0+1
Bees scorers: Antonov 1+0; Bendik & Kostourek 0+1
Lightning PIMS: 8 (Hook, Billing, Bakrlik & Tahtinen 2)
Bees PIMS: 12 (Spearing 4, Relf, Bendik, Graham & Kostourek 2)
Shots on Lightning (Skinns): 19 (5, 7, 7)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 38 (10, 14, 14)

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