ICE HOCKEY LIVE: MK Lightning v Swindon Wildcats

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  • MK Lightning 4-5 Swindon Wildcats (final score)
  • Murdy makes penalty shot save in dying seconds
  • Cats led 5-0 early on before MK comeback
  • First time Swindon have beaten MK this season
  • Reporting by NED PAYNE

9:29pm

Two points well-earned. Now onward to tomorrow and the return clash at the Link Centre. A potential belter once more, I'd say.

9:26pm

9:26pm

9:26pm

9:26pm

9:25pm

9:21pm

Swindon man of the match is Nell. For MK it's Wall.

9:20pm

There's that famous saying about cats having nine lives. I'm pretty sure Cats used eight of theirs tonight.

9:19pm

The stats are like this. MK had 40 shots, Swindon had 27.

9:16pm

Swindon win!

9:16pm

Oh my goodness me. Murdy saves a penalty shot from Emersic with 4.4 seconds left. Incredible. There is a school of thought that Emersic might have fouled on it. Either way it's not a goal.

9:14pm

Wall is pulled. Six on three. Desperate stuff.

9:13pm

9:13pm

Has anyone got any nails left?

9:11pm

It's now five on three in MK's favour...

9:10pm

MK have a powerplay. Will the pressure tell?

9:08pm

Four minutes left for Swindon to hold on.

9:07pm

This is nerve-wracking stuff.

9:06pm

Cats have killed their penalties, by the way. MK are now a man down.

9:04pm

There is just over six minutes left and Swindon have called a timeout.

9:00pm

Moore goes into the bin and MK have a five on three. Oh blimey.

8:59pm

Powerplay for MK.

8:58pm

I never thought I'd be saying this after 22 minutes, but Swindon could do with a goal.

8:55pm

GOAL! (Milton Keynes 4, Wildcats 5, 47.47)

Oh my, oh my. Surely not? Tvrdek brings the Lightning to within a single goal on the powerplay. Assists Nick Chinn and Lukas Zatopek. There are 12 minutes left.

8:52pm

Two minutes for Sam Bullas now.

8:51pm

A nice, goalless start to period three, that is exactly what Swindon wanted.

8:49pm

Swindon have a powerplay.

8:47pm

Basingstoke have come from behind to beat Manchester 3-1 and go one point clear at the top of the EPL.

8:45pm

Still, if they hold on here they will reduce the gap on MK to three points, which would be a big bonus.

8:44pm

Slough have beaten Sheffield 7-0, a result that doesn't do Swindon a lot of good, but there it is.

8:43pm

With just over a third of this match gone, Wildcats were 5-0 up. Surely they won't throw this one away?

8:42pm

The third period is off and running.

8:35pm

Third period is going to have a backs to the wall look about it I fancy.

8:31pm

MK had 21 shots in that second period to Swindon's seven. Running totals now 31 shots by MK and 20 by the Wildcats.

8:29pm

Slough are giving Sheffield a battering. The Jets are 7-0 up in the third period.

8:26pm

And that's the end of the second period.

8:25pm

GOAL! (Milton Keynes 3 Wildcats 5, 39.53)

Ouch. Poole fires a shot home for MK with seven seconds left of period two. Assists from Jamieson and Michael Farn. Just two goals in it now and the hosts sense there could be something in it for them.

8:23pm

There have been plenty of crackers this season. Guildford (win), Peterborough (loss) and Manchester (loss) spring to mind most of all.

8:22pm

Loris Taylor gets two minutes. Gulp.

8:21pm

Not conceding again before the end of period two would the the priority here for Swindon. A two-goal lead isn't all that strong but three you'd be pretty happy with.

8:20pm

GOAL! (Milton Keynes 2, Wildcats 5, 36.16)

Well, it's not quite squeaky bum time yet, but the home side have a second. Emersic once more, with the assists coming from Kamil Tvrdek and Jamieson.

8:17pm

Penalty killed.

8:16pm

I'm pretty sure MK's players just did not expect this scoreline when they turned up to play tonight. Caught on the hop, completely.

8:13pm

Shane Moore gets two minutes and it's an MK powerplay.

8:12pm

It's been a good seven minutes since we had a goal. Come on guys.

8:10pm

I suppose from MK's point of view, sticking Wall on has worked. It's 1-1 since he entered the fray.

8:08pm

Penalty killed.

8:05pm

Fojtik binned. MK are on the powerplay.

8:04pm

GOAL! (Milton Keynes 1, Wildcats 5, 22.20)

Well, the hosts are finally off the mark. It's not an impossible road back for them but it is an extremely long one. Blaz Emersic is the man on the scoresheet. Assists from Leigh Jamieson and Ross Bowers.

8:02pm

GOAL! (Milton Keynes 0, Wildcats 5, 21.22)

Well, what do I know? Matias Perkkio takes the lead out to 5-0, with the assist from Sandvik. I reckon he's quite enjoying his debut.

7:58pm

And just as I say that...

7:58pm

I'm going to stick my neck out and say the scoreline will be a bit tighter in this period.

7:56pm

Here at the Thunderdome, the second period has started.

7:55pm

Elsewhere, Basingstoke have turned it round against the Phoenix and lead 2-1 after period two.

7:54pm

Swindon are usually pretty trigger-happy, they have outshot a lot of teams even on the road this campaign.

7:51pm

I would imagine on that evidence, the Lightning would be pretty aggrieved to be four down. Shows the value of taking your chances.

7:51pm

Swindon had 13 shots on goal in that first period. MK had 10.

7:50pm

Nobody has scored more hat-tricks than Nell this season. He's joint-top with Guildford's Curtis Huppe on three.

7:48pm

Probably the most measured reaction I've had so far. Very calm.

7:42pm

That is the end of a breathless first period.

7:42pm

Ah... that annoying I should have gone feeling.

7:41pm

The quickest hat-trick in the EPL so far this season was by Peterborough's Luke Ferrara, in 2.21.  Confident Nell's is inside the top 10.

7:40pm

That's Nell's third hat-trick of the season by the way.

7:38pm

I can't help feeling sorry for Mettam. Hauled off before 12 minutes are up. What a horrible evening for him.

7:36pm

Anyone know what the quickest hat-trick in the EPL this season is?

7:36pm

7:35pm

What an unbelievable start for Cats. In their wildest dreams they couldn't have anticipated this. But to play Devil's advocate and invoke that tedious cliche, there's a long way to go yet.

7:34pm

MK have taken two drastic steps. First, they have called a time out. Second, Mettam has been replaced by Stephen Wall.

7:32pm

GOAL (Milton Keynes 0, Wildcats 4, 11.32)

This is unreal! MK have been completely asleep for the opening 12 minutes and Swindon have another. Nell has a hat-trick which must be one of the quickest in the EPL this season. The assist came from Stevie Whitfield.

7:30pm

GOAL! (Milton Keynes 0, Wildcats 3, 10.56)

Mr Sandvik has scored his first point in a Wildcats shirt with an assist for Nell's second goal, but more importantly from a team point of view, Swindon lead 3-0. Dream start at the Thunderdome for the Link Centre side.

7:28pm

Blimey.

7:28pm

Swindon have lost 6-3, 3-0 and 5-2 to MK this campaign. Great start this time, though.

7:26pm

I wondered how long it was going to be before that joke came out!

7:24pm

Absolutely cracking start for the visitors, but can they maintain it?

7:24pm

GOAL! (Milton Keynes 0, Wildcats 2, 6.24)

Pick that one out! Swindon double their lead and this time Nell turns provider, with Jonas Hoog getting the final touch. I've lost count of the amount of times that has happened this season.

7:22pm

That was Nell's 34th goal of the season. He's very nearly a goal a game. Massive for Cats that they have a British player doing that for them.

7:19pm

Baird is a bit of a points-scoring machine at the moment, having netted against Bracknell last week. He hadn't scored since the season before last before that effort.

7:19pm

Well that is EXACTLY the start Swindon fans wanted.

7:18pm

GOAL! (Milton Keynes 0, Wildcats 1, 4.02)

Aaron Nell scores with the assist coming from Joe Baird.

7:14pm

One day I'll come up with a different sentence to start a game, I just happen to like that one.

7:13pm

And we're off.

7:13pm

Referee tonight is Petr Popluhar, which is probably one of my favourite names ever.

7:11pm

In addition to Calder, MK are without Jordan Hedley and Chris Wiggins but in comes youngster Connor Goode.

7:09pm

The Tom Murdy issue is an interesting one. Dean Skinns was phenomenal in some games earlier this season, but has fallen out of favour of late. Now Murdy is fully-recovered from injury, will the starting spot be his for the rest of the campaign? Only time will tell.

7:07pm

Tom Murdy has retained his spot in goal. Alex Mettam is between the pipes for MK.

7:07pm

We're just about ready here...

7:04pm

Manchester lead 1-0 at Basingstoke after period one. Interesting.

7:02pm

Here we go then...

6:59pm

6:55pm

 

6:54pm

Just had a text from the Wildcats' press man, Mike Wray. He fancies Swindon to pull a 3-2 win out of the bag and Sandvik to have a blinder. That would be alright, wouldn't it?

6:52pm

Something about this weekend feels wrong. Away game on Saturday, home game on Sunday. Still... sure I'll get over it. Don't forget face-off is at 6pm at the Link Centre tomorrow. It's Kids Go Free and everything.

6:48pm

For Milton Keynes' part, Adam Calder is not icing.

6:47pm

Right, I'm not asking any more, I'm demanding. Send me your tweets using #swindonwildcats. I'm after predictions for tonight and your thoughts on the two new signings - good moves?

6:46pm

Within five minutes of his Basingstoke debut, Watt is in the penalty box. Hooking, not roughing. Not sure his hands are up to that any more after how he finished off at Wildcats - three fights in four games!

6:45pm

In a cringeworthy piece of self-promotion, may I point you towards my Twitter, @nedpayne1? There you can send me your thoughts on all things ice-hockey related, and that's throughout the week, not just tonight.

6:42pm

In addition to the usual absentees - Lee Richardson and Jamie Hayes - Jan Melichar is not icing tonight. Of course, coach Ryan Aldridge can only run with four imports and he has five available, Melichar being the casualty. Shows a decent amount of faith in Tomas Fojtik, who after an unconvincing start, has looked decent of late.

6:40pm

Swindon are out there warming up as we speak and the two new boys are being put through their paces.

6:37pm

This is the part where I solicit comments, in the comments section below, and tweets using #swindonwildcats. You know the drill - the best are reprinted in this live blog. What are your predictions for tonight?

6:36pm

Cats were planning to leave Swindon at 2pm this afternoon in order to make absolutely sure they arrived at the Thunderdome in time for face-off this evening. Long day.

6:34pm

Anyway, let's stick to the current roster for now, and a couple of new faces have come aboard this week. Henri Sandvik and Ollie Betteridge are both expected to feature this evening. Betteridge's deal was only completed last night so a quick turnaround for him, although he did skate with the Wildcats on Thursday.

6:32pm

Across the way, former Wildcats forward Nicky Watt sure has picked a belter of a game to make his debut in, as second (Basingstoke) plays third (Manchester).

6:27pm

Bored of the snow? Stuck in the house? Have no fear, Ice Hockey Live is here to guide you through Swindon's trip to Milton Keynes in the EPL. I will do my best to keep you entertained for the next three hours, and hopefully not all of it will be waffle.

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