Streatham bounced back from defeat on the Isle of Wight against Wightlink Raiders on Saturday night, to seal an exciting 8-5 win over Milton Keynes in front of a jubilant home crowd at Planet Ice Brixton.
The Redskins were forced to ice without Tyrone Miller, Jamie McIlroy and Joe Allen due to a mixture of illness and injury, and started goalie Stefan Nubert in place of Will Sanderson.
Streatham came out hard in the opening stages putting pressure on the Thunder defence from the first face off. It took just five minutes for the home fans to start cheering as Joe Johnston set up Russ Stevens in the slot and his wrist shot looped into the top corner of MK goalie Jordan Hedley’s net.
Despite this good start the Redskins hit penalty trouble and the Thunder’s well worked powerplay unit took full advantage as Harrison Goode fired past Nubert from close range after good work from Jamie Randall behind the net.
The game began to become more scrappy with both sides defending sloppily at times and it looked like the period would end all square, however Streatham’s Dave Carr skated round the back of the net with the puck and exchanged passes with Liam Rasmussen before squeezing the puck between Hedley and the near post from an angle to give Streatham the lead again.
Streatham started the second period as they had started the first with Hopkins rattling the post and then Klima managing to somehow hit both posts before watching the puck bounce agonisingly clear.
The home side were finally rewarded for their persistence on the powerplay as a perfectly weighted pass from Adam Mahoney on the point was fired into the net by Joe Johnston.
Milton Keynes hit back less than a minute later, when winger Mike Whillock skated hard down the right wing and then fired a perfect snap shot into the top corner of Nubert’s net from distance.
This prompted MK’s best spell of the game as they began to cause all sorts of problems for the Redskins defence. Nidal Phillips and Connor Goode both had good chances to score but found Nubert in good form.
Milton Keynes final got their equaliser with nine minutes gone in the second and it was another power play goal, this time thanks to Jamie Randall who appeared unmarked in the slot before firing low into the net.
Streatham finally started to click into gear with less than three minutes remaining in the period as the hard working Russ Stevens converted a quality pass at the back post from Joe Johnston and then Dom Hopkins set up Irish international Stevie Balmer who finished coolly past Hedley to make it 5-3 to the Redskins.
The third period was set up nicely for an exciting finish and so it proved. Streatham Coach Warren Rost had to shuffle the lines due to Eddie Temple limping off with a knee injury meaning the home side had to see out the game with two lines.
With ten minutes to go, Czech Jakub Klima scored a shorthanded highlight reel goal as he skated the full length of the ice stickhandling past three Thunder players before turning Hedley inside out with a deke and calmly poking the puck into the net.
Despite this psychological blow Milton Keynes hit back straight away as Randall again proved his importance to the visitors as he scored from close range from a Harrison Goode pass.
Streatham calmed their fans nerves two minutes later as Joe Johnston jinked his way past the Thunder defence before roofing the puck into the top of the net and reeling away in celebration.
It was 8-4 just a minute later, as Klima teed up Hopkins in the slot and his slap shot nearly burst the back of the net to effectively seal the game for the Redskins.
It was Milton Keynes however who had the last laugh, albeit in controversial fashion. A collision between a Thunder forward and a Redskins defenseman took out Nubert and with all three lying in the goal crease, the puck broke to Greg Randall and he calmly fired over the bodies and into the net.
The final 8-5 score line was greeted by celebrations on and off the ice as Streatham ended an eight game league spell without a victory in style.
The previous evening the Redskins went down 7-1 with a short bench against the top of the table Wightlink Raiders. Dom Hopkins got the only goal of the game for the Londoners