Strong stuff from AIB MK Lightning tonight as they stood up to a physical Basingstoke Bison side and came away with both points after a 6-2 win which included another Liam Stewart hattrick.
The game started with a sign of how it was to go on, as after just 30 seconds Bobby Chamberlain earned a 2 minute penalty for elbows, leading to an exchange of words with a Bison player.No luck for the Bison on the PP, and it was similar for Lightning when they didn’t convert their own man advantage after Marcel Balaz was sent to the box for tripping.
Lightning’s breakthrough came after 6:46 when Rio Grinell-Parke drove the puck home assisted by Hallden Barnes-Garner. There followed the beginnings of organised pressure from Lightning who were forechecking hard and looking for their next goal. This came at 15:52 when Callum Field rounded Alex Mettam in the Bison net to finish coolly, after he was fed by Sean Norris and Milique Martelly.
There then came a period of 4 on 4 as Grinell-Parke for Lightning and Wilson for Bison received minors for crosschecking and slashing respectively. End of the first, Lightning 0-2 Bison.
A couple of penalties in quick succession either side of the break for Ben Russell gave Bison some Powerplay time but they couldn’t convert, even after Knaggs joined Russell in the box for boarding made it 3 on 5. With Russell back on the ice and it 4 on 5, Liam Stewart and TIm Wallace broke down the ice together and executed a perfect 2 on 1, swapping the puck between them before Stewart buried it to make it 3-0 with 25:08 gone, a shorthanded goal.
With around 9 mins to go in the second, Lightning’s Ed Knaggs became involved in a wrestle with a Bison player. This sparked brawls between Bobby Chamberlain and Liam Morris and Sam Talbot and Eddie Landsbergs. All except Knaggs got 5 for fighting, with Knaggs just getting 2 for roughing.
Teams back at full strength and Liam Stewart grabbed his second of the night, tapping in after James Griffin had done the hard work with an end to end mazy run before sliding across the goal to Stewart. 4-0 with 6:24 to go in the second.
Bison converted a Powerplay chance to open their scoring after 36:25 to make it 4-1, Norcliffe was given too much space in front of the Lightning net and he was able to pick his spot. Lightning restored their four goal lead on a Powerplay when Marcus Mitchell was sent to the box for roughing. Liam Stewart wound up a slap shot and buried it low in the bottom left corner to grab his hattrick ar 39:01. End of the second period 5-1.
Into the third and early on, Jay King and Mack Stewart had a brief fight and earned 5 mins each. Doughty then got two for holding and Lubwele 2 for roughing. This created a 4 on 3 powerplay for Lightning and they took their chance. Tim Wallace was fed by Liam Stewart and rifled the puck top corner, sending Mettam’s water bottle flying. 43:55 gone and it was 6-1.
No real further action until 54:35 when Balaz scored Bison’s second, assisted by Norcliffe. This was the last scoring action with a minor for Hallam Wilson seeing out the game. Final score All In Black MK Lightning 6-2 Basingstoke Bison
Bison Man of the Match: George Norcliffe
Man of the Match: Liam Stewart
Lightning travelled to Telford on Sunday and won 3-4 too.