Peterborough Phantoms held their nerve to clinch a 3-2 win at Milton Keynes in a thrilling encounter that went down to the final buzzer.
MK Lightning went into the game in second place in the English Premier Ice Hockey League, and had the best of the play with 35 shots at goal.
But they still struggled to get past third-placed Peterborough’s tough defence.
The Phantoms took the lead in the first third following a swift counter attack, only for the hosts to equalise in the second period.
Early on in the final third, Peterborough scored two quick goals to make 3-1 with only 15 minutes left on the clock. MK Lightning threw everything at the Phantoms but their defence looked to be holding firm.
However, with five minutes remaining, the hosts pulled another goal back as they were urged forward by 5,000 MK fans, but the visitors managed to close out the win.
Lightning coach Peter Russell said: “This was a game of two very different styles, Passive vs Aggressive.
“”Coaches set teams up and players decide games by making good or bad plays. My guys gave everything and can hold their heads high.”
MK Lightning are still one place above Peterborough after the defeat. The two sides will meet again in the English Premier League Cup Final held over two legs on March 12th and 18th.