Sunday, 15 January 2012

Care: Combustible Materials

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 14 November at The Thunderdome, Planet Ice, MK
MK Lightning 5 Guildford Flames 6
English Ice Hockey Premier League
Have discovered rinkhopping this season and this isn’t my first visit, but it was such a big game that it deserves some more attention.  These are the top two teams in the second tier of competition in England.
This match in one sentence
Heartbreaking for Lightning after they have reeled Flames in over the last month, but the visitors were lethal from short-range in a compelling contest.
So what?
Guildford stay top – MK needed the win to displace them.  These two teams meet again in Surrey on 5 February and by then it may turn out to be a must-win for Lightning.  As of now, Guildford have opened a three-point lead and halted a recent run of defeats.
The drama unfolds
I got there early to get right up against the Perspex for this one.  Harder to keep up with the action when filming clips, but closer and more visceral.  Lightning came out flying and took the lead through Leigh Jamieson.  1-0

A 2-minute penalty for interference for Michael Wales allowed eventual man-of-the-match Rick Plant to get an equaliser from the resulting powerplay.  1-1

The first clip will cause gloom in MK and joy in Guildford.  With Flames’ David Longstaff serving 2 minutes for cross-checking, Nathan Rempel breaks away to give the lead to the visitors.  Note the goal-line technology that confirms the score with the red light behind the goal.  It’s a man with a switch.  1-2

Here endeth the first period, and the second got feistier after Pucky the mascot had done the YMCA dance.  Here’s the Lightning equaliser from Adam Carr.  2-2

However, within second of the restart, Plant got his second of the night.  2-3

Nathan Rempel was the first to sit down for roughing.  This is much more serious than “handbags” in football, and greatly enjoyed by all present, it would seem.  The third clip includes a closeup of referee Goodwin to remind those with an MK postcode to cross him off the Christmas card list.  It also finishes with Matt Towe’s goal that gave Flames a two-goal advantage.  2-4

Mr Goodwin continued to be the centre of fan attention, with Grant McPherson (Lightning) and Neil Liddiard (Flames) coincidentally penalised for various combinations of roughing, interference and looking at the linesman with narrowed eyes. Lightning fought back and scored before the interval through Wales.  All to play for in the final period – brilliant stuff.  3-4

Lightning made a sensational start to the third.  It was Jamieson scoring again, only 14 seconds in.  4-4

However, within two minutes Rick Plant completed a hat-trick…  4-5

… before Lightning drew level once again with Carr’s second goal.  5-5

The decisive goal came from David Longstaff.  5-6

My other clips are from the frantic final minutes.  There had been angry exchanges and stick-waving between players on the bench which saw McPherson get a penalty for incitement.  The final play was a 6-on-5 with netminder Alex Mettam removed but Flames held on for what may turn out to be a vital win.  Fantastic entertainment, it has to be said.  Final score 5-6

What Next?
An as-yet unexplained tangent on Thursday which will appear as a blogpost on Friday.  For football, FA Vase Round 4 on Saturday and if weather permits it will be a random selection!  For ice hockey ... am now jumping in the car to get to Guildford Flames v Slough Jets!

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