Credit: John Unwins
Cup and League success for Flames
A Calle Ackered powerplay goal less than a minute into the 3rd was the winner and then the Flames added another about halfway through before capping it off with an empty netter a little more than 2 minutes from close for a 5-2 Cup win over the visiting Milton Keynes Lightning. 24 hours earlier, with less than a second on the clock remaining in overtime, and enjoying a 4 on 3 manpower advantage, an Ackered blast lifted the Flames to a 2-1 League table win at Lightning.
In the Cup affair, just 45 seconds into the evening, Michael Fine floated one to the net that eluded Chris Carrozzi for a Lightning lead. The Flames replied on a powerplay when Kevin King one timed a TJ Foster feed to bring it level. Seconds after the re-start faceoff another Lightning goal through Andreas Valdix nudged them ahead again but a couple of minutes later Ian Watters fired one under the bar to square it.
On top of a 14-6 shot advantage in the opening frame, the Flames added a 19-9 difference in the 2nd, but not a goal for them or the visitors across that 20 minute stretch and the pair of contenders, as they did the night prior, went to the last all tied up.
That changed 53 seconds into the 3rd, at the tail end of a powerplay, when Ackered had the Flames in their first lead of the contest then just beyond the back half of the frame, Ben Davies doubled the gap when he shovelled in Evan Ritt’s perfect set up. At 57:37, Lighting had their net empty looking for some extra pressure, but with full possession, the home team got the puck to Jez Lundin who hammered home the final goal in the win.
In the weekend League opener, a Radek Meidl goal was the only one of the opening frame and the Lightning went to break up by that slim margin despite a 13-4 shot advantage in favour of the visiting Flames.
Nearly halfway into the 2nd, and just 9 seconds into a powerplay, Spectrum’s men pulled the count even with an Ian Watters reply, but the deadlock then remained unchanged into the final 20 minutes.
The clubs each went after a win in the final frame, and the best chance to secure it was a Flames poweprlay less than 4 minutes from time, but the clock made it to 0 with just a goal each on the board and overtime ahead.
In the extra frame a Lightning penalty 47 seconds from close looked like it would end as the game moved to penalties, but Ackered’s last tick strike removed necessity for further tiebreaker activity.
“In the early going on Sunday, I thought we were a little unlucky to be just tied at 2 after a period,” said Paul Dixon.
“We unquestionably had the better chances and a sizeable shot differential that carried on from there for much of the rest of the night.”
“On Saturday we had trouble getting that breakthrough, despite similar territorial advantages, but tonight we were able to get it early in the 3rd and then we were able to run with it from there.”
“We had a solid weekend against a team who works exceptionally hard so we are pleased to enter a full training week on the back of a couple of wins, looking ahead to a new slate of games on the horizon.”