Preview: MK Lightning vs Guildford Flames (22 Sept)
Guildford Flames pay their second visit of the season to Planet Ice on Saturday when Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning will be hoping to repeat the victory they achieved in a pre-season challenge game three weeks ago.
But Doug McKay’s men know they have to be at their best in this Challenge Cup game after Flames shocked the fancied Sheffield Steelers with a 5-1 win on Sunday – a result which may have had a part in the Yorkshire outfit parting company with Canadians Matt and Ryan Rupert the following day.
However Flames are not invincible as Fife Flyers proved on Tuesday when they came away from the Spectrum Centre with a 4-1 Elite League success – Calle Ackered getting the hosts only goal.
Guildford who joined the Elite League at the same time as Lightning last year have retained a good number of last season’s roster while adding some potentially talented new faces including Kevin King who was MK’s captain last term.
Among the returnees this year is top scorer John Dunbar, along with Ackered, Ian Watters, Jesse Craige and Kruise Reddick. Other newcomers include Erik Lindhagen who switched to Surrey after two seasons at Nottingham Panthers – raising some eyebrows in the process.
Flames coach Paul Dixon has augmented his netminding options with the recruitment of Travis Fullerton whose Elite career had thus far been north of the border – playing first for Braehead Clan (now Glasgow Clan), then Edinburgh Capitals and lastly Dundee Stars. He joins Chris Carrozzi and Mike Will in the goalie duties.
Lightning meanwhile will be keen to put Sunday’s big 9-1 defeat at Cardiff Devils behind them although they could still be without Nelson Armstrong (delayed with visa problems) and Martin Mazanec (suspended) while Owen Griffiths may be back after injury.
Face off on Saturday is 7pm. You can buy tickets in advance to avoid queues at the door by visiting mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets. Alternatively call us on 01908 540020.
This game is another Pink The Rink fixture for you to give a visible show of support the team by wearing pink – however much or little pink clothing you have, put it on for Saturday’s game and lets fill the rink with pink!
On Sunday Lightning make the relatively short trip to the Skydome to do battle with Coventry Blaze in a league fixture facing off at 5.15pm. The two sides have already met three times this season with the spoils shared in the pair of pre-season challenge games while Lightning bagged the Challenge Cup points last Saturday.