Match report

MK take shoot-out victory from Skydome

Blaze 4
MK 5

Despite out-shooting the Milton Keynes Lightning 40-21, the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze were only able to take a point from their final Elite League game before Christmas, being defeated 4-5 after a penalty-shoot out at the Skydome Arena.

MK goalie Patrick Killeen was again the star of the show, but he was beaten early by Norwegian defenceman Nicolai Bryhnisveen (1.37).

Posting just four shots in the opening twenty minutes, the away side were clinical, scoring on three of the attempts. Robbie Baillargeon's effort (8.36) sandwiched between a double from Radek Meidl (1.49 and 12.54).

As the period wore down, Killeen was forced from the ice due to an equipment issue and with Brit Adam Goss coming into the net cold, Coventry's Ben Lake took advantage on the powerplay (17.10).

Goss, a former Blaze Academy product then pulled off a stunning save to deny Tim Crowder before Killeen returned to start the second period with a 2-3 lead to defend.

There was no scoring in the second period but two goals came early in the third to swing the momentum in Coventry's favour. Luke Ferrara (44.44), first tied the game 3-3 before Shawn Pauly bagged Blaze's second powerplay goal of the night to give them a 4-3 advantage (46.04).

The Lightning backed by a large and noisy following weren't to be denied though as Owen Griffiths beat Miroslav Kopriva for a fourth time (54.40) to finish the 60 minutes with the score tied 4-4.

Into 3-on-3 overtime it went and despite both teams having chances, neither goalie was to beaten again until the shoot-out.

MK got off to the perfect start scoring on their first two opportunities through Michael Fine and player/coach Tim Wallace. Alex Nikiforuk responded for Blaze but with Georgs Golovkovs scoring on the fifth shot, it was enough for the visitors to skate away with the additional point and a 5-4 victory.

HC Danny Stewart