Lightning finally broke their scoring drought against Sheffield Steeldogs with a hard earned but deserved 3-1 victory.
However they suffered an early blow when Lloyd Gibson fired the visitors ahead from Edgars Bebris’ set up just 1min 3secs into the game.
There was a further problem for the hosts when Leigh Jamieson clashed with Andre Payette – the Lightning man was thrown out on a match penalty for a check to the head while the Steeldogs player coach took no further part in the game.
The home side survived the resulting five minutes short handed but they could make nothing of a slashing call on Chris Sykes midway through the period which ended 1-0.
Captain Adam Carr got Lightning back on terms after 23mins 22secs through sheer determination when he converted Nick Poole’s short pass.
It was Lightning’s first goal against Steeldogs in 12 periods of play – totalling 3hours 23mins.
There was an anxious moment for Lightning when Pavel Gomeniuk tested goalie Alex Mettam while Grant McPherson and Steeldogs’ Craig Elliot were serving time for roughing but the goalie was up to the challenge.
It took a touch of magic from Tuomas Tikkanen to put Lightning into the lead on 44mins 54secs. Receiving the puck from Matt Towalski he broke away and fired high to the left of goalie Ben Bowns.
Steeldogs’ threat was finally killed off thanks to a hooking penalty on Greg Wood – Poole setting up Blaz Emersic to shoot home from just inside the blue line after 56mins 54secs.
Steeldogs withdrew Bowns for the extra skater in the final 90secs or so but they were unable to score and Lightning could have had a fourth goal had Tikkanen’s last gasp shot reached the net before the buzzer.
23.22 Carr, Poole, Tikkanen E
44.34 Tiikkanen, Towalsi, Wales E
56.54 Emersic, Poole, Carr PP
1.03 Gibson, Bebris E
3.47 Jamieson, 25 mins, match check to the head
31.16 McPherson, 2 mins, roughing
38.36 Bowers, 2 mins, roughing
48.21 Zatopek, 2m ins, slashing
57.01 Towalski, 2 mins, slashing
9.56 Sykes, 2 mins, slashing
19.26 Elliott, 2 mins, interference
31.16 Elliott, 2 mins, roughing
34.02 Kurnigins, 2misn, elbows
38.36 Haywood, 2 mins, cross checking
38.36 Haywood, 2 mins, roughing
40.00 Gibson, 2 mins, cross checking
48.21 Calvert, 2 mins, slashing
55.25 Wood, 2 mins, hooking
57.01 Wood, 2 mins, slashing
Shots on Goal
MKL – Mettam - 17, 10, 21 = 48
Sheffield – Bowns – 7, 16, 5 = 28
Referee – Matt Thompson
Linesmen – Nick Stephenson, Sam Gospel