Preview: MK Lightning v Glasgow Clan (14 Nov)
By Paul Brookman
Glasgow Clan – including former Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning coach Peter Russell – make their first visit to Planet Ice on Wednesday for a must win game for the hosts.
Popular Peter will undoubtedly receive a warm welcome from the home faithful having guided Lightning to a Cup and Play-off double in their final English Premier League season, but from the moment the puck drops there will be no love lost between the two sides.
Lightning will be looking to break a seven game losing streak while Russell’s men will be hoping to build on a weekend double against Coventry Blaze – winning 4-2 at Braehead on Saturday before edging the next day’s battle 5-4.
Those results lifted Clan to a respectable sixth position in the table following a mixed October in which they recorded six victories in 12 outings – the best of them probably being the 6-3 dismissal of Nottingham Panthers midway through the month.
Russell’s move to Glasgow – renamed from Braehead this term – saw him retain the services of a couple of his long-serving Brits. Defenceman Zach Sullivan is in his fifth year with the club while Matthew Haywood is in his ninth term.
Both Sullivan and Haywood will be familiar names to long time Lightning fans – the former once lined in Basingstoke Bison colours and before that Slough Jets. Doncaster-born Haywood began his career in nearby Sheffield, progressing to Steelers, via Scimitars.
Fellow Brit Craig Peacock in his third season with Clan having spent seven seasons with Belfast Giants. Again he will be known to MK supporters as he once iced for their big EPL rivals Peterborough Phantoms – recording 94pts (53 goals and 41 assists) in his final campaign there.
The coach has brought back three former Braehead favourites for his first year in his native country – Zack Fitzgerald has come in from Sheffield Steelers while Matt Beca and Scott Pitt return after a year with Manchester Storm.
Admission is just £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s. For tickets visit mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets. Alternatively buy your tickets on the door or in advance at Planet Ice. Call us on 01908 540020.