Key decisions hand MK the points

Sunday, 23rd October 2016

Manchester Phoenix were missing Joni Tuominen as they travelled to the Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday night.

Phoenix started strongly and scored with their first shot as Marek Indra set up Roman Malinik who fired under the MK netminder at 1:07, although the goal was given to Indra.  The lead was soon doubled as a Ben Wood shot from the blue line was tipped in by Robin Kovar at 4:14, shortly after Blaz Emersic had fired wide at the other end.

Phoenix had chances to extend their advantage as Malinik broke away but his backhand effort was well saved and Gareth O’Flaherty was denied from close in.  MK grew into the game as the period progressed, and Steve Fone made some big saves including a couple of goalmouth scrambles as the period ended 2-0.

The second period was dominated by the home side as the referee called a series of controversial penalties against Phoenix, inexplicably missing infractions from the home team.  Tom Carlon tapped in at the back post on the powerplay at 20:50, before Leigh Jamieson had a goal ruled out for man in the crease.  Former Phoenix man Frantisek Bakrlik equalised at 33:27 after he burst through the defence, before Jordan Cownie scored with a delayed penalty goal at 35:31.  Another powerplay goal from Lewis Hook at 39:22 made it 4-2 to the home side.

MK extended their lead further in the final period thanks to another penalty awarded against Phoenix, as Bobby Chamberlain scored with a delayed penalty goal.  Phoenix did create further opportunities as the period wore on but MK held firm before the home side’s Sam Jones provoked Michael Stratford into a fight, which was promptly won by the new Phoenix forward.  MK added a late sixth goal through Blaz Emersic at 58:49.

Phoenix are at home on Sunday evening against the Bracknell Bees, with a 5pm face-off in Blackpool.