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REPORT: Lightning cruise to clean sweep over Sheffield Steeldogs (4 March 17)

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Milton Keynes Lightning logo A pair of third period goals from Antti Hölli ensured Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning completed a clean sweep over Sheffield Steeldogs at MK Arena on Saturday.

The Finn's strikes in the 53rd and 59th minute - the latter an empty net goal - secured a 4-2 victory after captain Adam Carr had put EPL Cup Finalists MK ahead and James Griffin added the second early in the middle period.

There was a special ceremony before the game to congratulate Carr on reaching a landmark 600 games for the club.

Once the game got under way it was the hosts who had the early pressure as Ed Knaggs and Tom Carlon fired in shots - the former going wide and the latter being blocked.

Lightning went on the powerplay twice in just over three minutes after first Ashley Calvert was called for hooking on 4mins 36secs and then Tim Smith went for the same offence at 7mins 49secs. But nothing came of either powerplay.

It was not until the home outfit were back at full strength that they got a breakthrough as Milan Baranyk and James Neil had a hand in Carr's opener on 12mins 17secs.

Blaz Emersic had a worthwhile effort which went off target later in the period which ended 1-0 to the home side - MK outshooting the visitors 11-7.

Within 1min 36secs of the restart James Griffin, assisted by Baranyk, doubled Lightning's tally, only for Steeldogs to hit back almost immediately through Stan Lascek, aided by Arnoldas Bosas at 22mins 56secs.

When Hölli was penalised for hooking a couple of minutes later Lightning were able to survive the short-handed spell but back at full strength they conceded a second goal to Lascek after 27mins 16secs, the scorer having broke away with Bosas and instead of passing he chose to shoot the puck past goalie Przemy Odrobny.

Donatas Kumeliauskas saw his shot go wide before Leigh Jamieson's effort was blocked by netminder James Hadfield, the period ending all square at 2-2.

Griffin's involvement in the encounter was ended when he was dismissed on a five minute plus game penalty for a check to the head of Tom Relf in the 45th minute.

Having successfully seen off the extended short handed spell Lightning edged in front when Emersic supplied Hölli to beat Hadfield on 53mins 17secs.

Steeldogs called a timeout with 2mins 40secs remaining and withdrew Hadfield for the extra skater with 90secs on the clock.

But the move backfired as Hölli shot home for his second goal at 59mins 23secs to wrap up the win - the sixth in six meetings this season.

Man of the Match: Edward Knaggs (D)

Report: Paul Brookman

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