MK Lightning v Nottingham Panthers (24th Nov)
Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning will be aiming to continue their recent impressive home form when they entertain third in the Elite League Nottingham Panthers at Planet Ice on Saturday.
After seeing off Glasgow Clan by a 6-1 margin and then Coventry Blaze by a 4-1 score Lightning will be hoping to produce another result similar to the last time Panthers visited the city. On that occasion at the beginning of October MK handed out a 5-1 defeat after striking no less than four times in less than three second-period minutes.
There is no doubt that it will be tough to repeat that result – Eric Neiley scorer of two goals that night this week departed Lightning to rejoin Nottingham’s arch rivals Sheffield Steelers.
However Panthers have not been without team changes. Jacob Doty, signed from Braehead Clan in the summer, left the club on Sunday to return to Norther America. He joined the Texas based Allen Americans of the East Coast Hockey League this week.
Coach Canadian Rich Chernomaz has this week moved to strengthen the club’s goal tending options with the recruitment of 23-year-old Patrick Munson who has been playing for the Michigan Tech College in the NCAA.
Munson joins first choice netminder Canadian Michael Garnett and former Telford Tiger English Sam Gospel on the roster with Chernomaz stating he was keen to add to his squad with a tough run of games coming up in December.
Since that loss to Lightning last month Panthers have slipped down the table slightly and in recent weeks have found goals slightly difficult to come by. Since a 7-5 loss to Fife Flyers they have managed to register four goals in a game only once – a 4-1 win at Guildford Flames.
Up front Panthers have added Slovakian Marek Tvrdon since their last visit to Milton Keynes. Tvrdon spent the first part of last season with Edinburgh Capitals before returning home mid-season. Already this season, Panthers included, he has been on the books of three clubs, starting in the Russian VHL and then the Alps Hockey League.
Nottingham are certain to bring a big crowd with them so fans are advised to book their tickets as soon as possible at mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets. Alternatively buy your tickets on the door or in advance. Call us on 01908 540020. Face off is at 7pm.
On Sunday Lightning make the trip to Wales for an equally challenging match-up with Cardiff Devils at Ice Arena Wales. Face off is at 6pm and live updates will be on https://twitter.com/MKLightningLive