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Flames get 3 weekend points

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Guildford Flames logo Mike Will made his first start of the season and saved all but a single while Marek Maslonka returned from injury to post a 4 point night during a 7-1 win at Manchester Phoenix. Upon a return to home ice the following evening, Michal Satek and Ben Campbell each had 4 points, and a table point was secured, but the season’s run of bad luck beyond regulation continued when the Milton Keynes Lightning secured a 6-5 win to hand the Flames a league leading 5th heartbreaker during tiebreaking measures.

Tom Duggan against Milton Keynes’s Leigh Jamieson on Sunday.  The British forward scored a late goal that helped his team to a league table point despite the eventual overtime loss.    Photo by John Uwins.In the win, Kevin Phillips opened the visitor’s account when he scored the period’s lone goal in the 10th minute. At 27:02 Andy McKinney doubled the Flames lead which they turned to a 3 goal difference about 5 minutes later through Maslonka. A 36th minute Jez Lundin strike had Spectrum’s men in command at 4-0, but a late period Vaclav Meidl reply narrowed the gap to 4-1 ahead of the 3rd. Manchester’s answer was cancelled with a Satek goal at 41:36 that re-stored the original 4 goal Flames lead and Sam Waller’s first with Surrey’s side made it a 6-1 affair at 48:53. Jared Lane closed the scoresheet with the 7-1 marker about 3 minutes from close.

At Spectrum, the first penalty of the game gave the Flames a man advantage, but it was the Lightning penalty killers who turned the tables initially by scoring a 13th minute shorthanded marker on a Lewis Hook breakaway. The powerplay unit did get it back in short order, though, when Jens Eriksson buried a long rebound to knot the score at a goal each. The home side then grabbed a 3-1 lead with a pair in the opening half of the middle frame. Jez Lundin bagged a powerplay marker in the 25th minute and Satek added another near the midway mark. Blaz Emersic cut the lead to a single at 31:16 and a powerplay goal by Hook in the final minute of the period had the clubs tied at 3 each. Early in the 3rd, Hook’s hat trick put Milton Keynes in front 4-3. The back and forth continued at 48:49 with a Campbell goal that locked it at 4 down the stretch. Tom Duggan re-stored a Flames lead a little over 5 minutes from time, but a friendly bounce off a foot in front, credited to Adam Carr at 57:18, again had the teams on level terms to force the extra stanza where Michael Farn ended the evening less than 2 minutes in.

“The game against Milton Keynes was really disappointing,” said Head Coach Paul Dixon. “We had enough of the play and the shots to get a win, and had a multi goal lead at one stage, plus a lead very late in the game. Every opportunity was there to have it nailed down before overtime, so from that perspective there is some frustration in how things turned out. Having said that, other than the actual outcome, there was a whole lot in the game to be pleased with and, combined with a big win at Manchester, a 3 point weekend is good production. We will turn our attention now to Phoenix who will visit us on Saturday night, and hopefully we can reward our home fans with a win in that one.”

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