SWINDON Wildcats left it late but they finally overcame a strong MK Lightning side on penalty shots, thanks to netminder Stevie Lyle.
After starting the first period under severe pressure, struggling to get out of their defensive end, Cats began to grow into the game, having more time in possession of the puck.
It wasn’t until the seventh minute that Cats could make their first real attack on the Lightning goal.
With MK man Ross Green in the penalty box for hooking, the visitors took advantage of having the extra man on the ice as Adam Harding scored a powerplay goal.
Despite Cats being in the lead they were in the debt of Lyle, who pulled off a string of fine saves to keep their lead intact.
Lyle’s hard work soon paid off as his teammates ventured into the attacking end to strengthen their lead to 2-0 with Ollie Betteridge finding the net. Lyle again came to the rescue in the second period, as he continued his great form with further saves.
The Wiltshire side could have moved further in front through Shane Moore, but the D-man took his eyes off the puck at the last second and ended up taking an air shot rather than making contact with the puck.
In the third period, Lightning’s pressure paid dividends as Cats gave up their 2-0 lead, with the home side scoring twice late on to force overtime. Neither side could edge in front during the extra five minutes, meaning the game went to a shoot-out, where Lyle was the Swindon hero.