Match Night Review – MK Lightning 08/12/19

Hat-trick Hero Bonner Boosts Pirates’ Momentum

The Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates broke a three game winless streak with victory over Milton Keynes Lightning in a physical affair on Sunday evening.

After a disappointing 8-4 loss against the Wildcats on Saturday, Sunday’s game was the ideal occasion to turn results around, also spurred on by the game being the Pirates’ annual Teddy Bear Toss.

As a hard-hitting opening period came to an end, the visitors found themselves heading into the break 0-1 ahead when Tomas Kana pocketed his own rebound after seeing his initial shot saved by Ash Smith [17:37].

Lightning’s lead would last just three minutes into the second period; Peter Fabus skating the puck along the boards and around the MK net before finding Bonner, who slotted past Dean Skinns for his first of the night to bring a wave of teddy bears over the boards [23:21].

Fabus was again the catalyst for the home side’s go-ahead goal a further three minutes later, battling hard along the boards once more to find Sam Towner who’s one-touch pass split the Lightning defence, landing on Bonner’s stick unmarked to make it 2-1 [26:04].

With the physicality ramping up, the Pirates found themselves short-handed when Steven Chalmers was penalised for cross checking. On the resultant power play, the Lightning were level. Patient build up from the visitors ended with Ross Green slipping a pass onto the tape of Kana’s stick, who’s one-timer found the back of the net for 2-2 [32:34].

The home side responded almost immediately with a power play goal of their own. Johnathan Kirk’s shot from the blue line brought about a scramble in front of the Lightning net, resulting in Bonner edging the puck to Norris for an easy tap in and a 3-2 Pirates lead [35:02].

Shortly after, the Pirates had the puck in the back of the Lightning net for what they thought was their fourth goal. However, the officials waved it off and issued a ten minute penalty to Bobby Chamberlain for abuse. On the resultant power play Milton Keynes were level; a one timer from Grinell-Parke redirected at the back post by Liam Stewart to tie the game at 3 each [36:39].

With the second period break came a chance for tempers to cool, and indeed the third started in blistering fashion for the Pirates. A 3-on-2 breakaway led by Jason Hewitt was finished when his pass found Bonner to slot home for his hat-trick and a 4-3 lead for the home team [44:26].

After the Pirates had another goal disallowed, their fifth came in similar fashion to the one beforehand. Whilst on the power play, David Norris burst out of the Pirates’ zone, skated towards Skinns and drew the MK netminder before teeing up Hewitt for his first of the game for 5-3 [54:41].

With the Lightning on a late power play and pulling their goalie, Smith stood strong in the Pirates net to close the game out and give Hewitt’s men a much-needed two points and some momentum heading into the Christmas period.

Man Of The Match Awards:-

Milton Keynes Lightning -Robin Kovar

Hull Pirates – Lee Bonner

Author Grieg Cardwell