PREVIEW: MK Lightning v Guildford Flames (26th Dec)
By Paul Brookman
Guildford Flames make their fourth visit of the season to Planet Ice for a Boxing Day match up against Smith Recycling Milton Keynes with the hosts keen to avenge a 2-1 overtime loss when the sides last met.
Flames have gone into the Christmas period in fifth spot in the Elite League despite going down 4-2 to title chasing Cardiff Devils at the Spectrum Centre on Sunday – the game not really decided until Stephen Dixon bagged his second of the night for the Welsh outfit in the 51st minute.
MK will have been buoyed by Sunday’s hard fought penalty shoot-out win at Coventry Blaze, the decisive shot coming from Georgs Golovkovs.
Coached by Paul Dixon the Guildford side have made further progress this year after finishing sixth in their debut season last year, retaining many of their best players including Kruise Reddick who tops the league scoring chart with 41 points – 17 goals and 24 assists.
John Dunbar who was the league’s runner-up in points last season is currently fifth with a none-too-shabby total of 38 points (seven goals and 31 assists) while Flames can also call on defencemen Jesse Craige and Calle Ackered to weigh in with the points as well.
Craige, another returnee from the last campaign, at present has 29 points, placing him second highest defenceman with Ackered’s total of 27 points putting him a position behind his team-mate.
Ackered has scored 12 goals so far and that places him equal top goal scoring defenceman with Cardiff’s Gleason Fournier.
Lightning and Flames first met in pre-season challenge games – the Planet Ice game resulting in a 5-2 win for MK with the return at the Spectrum going Guildford’s way in a 7-4 result. MK have not fared so well in the ensuing meetings – losing both Challenge Cup games 8-2 and 5-2 and the league match 2-1 in the extra period.
Flames and MK will also meet again at the Spectrum Centre 24 hours later on December 27.
Face off on Boxing Day is at a family friendly time of 6pm – in fact why not bring a friend or relative with you as well? Tickets are available by visiting mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets. Alternatively buy your tickets on the door or in advance at Planet Ice. Call us on 01908 540020.