MK Thunder v Cardiff Fire - 23/09/2017

MK Thunder v Peterborough Phantoms - 24/09/2017

By Tom Hurley

MK Thunder went top of NIHL South 1 on Saturday night thanks to a 6-0 win over newly promoted Cardiff Fire at Ice Arena Wales. 

Grant McPherson returned from his honeymoon in style with a hat trick in his first league game of the season, while Tom Annetts earned his first shutout in Thunder colours. 

Nidal Phillips set up McPherson for the opener six minutes into the game and the 1-0 score line held to the end of the first period. 

Thunder raced to a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes courtesy of goals from Tom Mboya and Ross Bowers as the visiting forwards peppered Luke Takel in the Fire net. 

MKT added three more goals in the third period in a game where Lewis Clifford’s men outshot Cardiff 38-12. Mboya scored his second of the night before McPherson completed his hat trick with two power play goals late on.

On Sunday Thunder held a 2-1 lead over Peterborough Phantoms before ultimately falling 5-2 at Planet Ice Milton Keynes. 

Peterborough opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Glenn Billing forced a turnover in the attacking zone and found James White who snapped the puck past Annetts. 

Thunder equalized late in the period after Tom Carlon intercepted a pass at mid-ice, raced down the boards, and found McPherson in front who’s rebound was put home by Gareth O’Flaherty.  

O’Flaherty scored again on the power play eight minutes into the second by jamming the puck in after he and Mboya battled Phantoms defenders for the rebound from Greg Randall’s slap shot.

Scott Robson leveled through a three-man screen in the 34th minute, moments after MKT had killed off a penalty. 

Phantoms went ahead less than two minutes later when Will Weldon was the first man to the rebound from Ales Padelek’s shot from the left wing. 

Robson’s laser through a screen with 13 seconds left on the clock gave Peterborough a 4-2 lead at the second intermission. 

Padelek scored early in the third to wrap up the 5-2 Phantoms win after being set up by former MK Lightning defenseman Thomas Norton. 

Clifford and his team play one game this weekend, a 6:00 p.m. clash with Bracknell Bees at the John Nike Leisuresport Complex on Sunday. Thunder’s next home game is at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 15th against Invicta Dynamos.