Preview: MK Lightning v Fife Flyers (12th Jan)
Fife Flyers pay their second visit to Planet Ice in little over a month when they are hosted by Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday.
It is the second meeting of the two teams this year – Lightning having gone down narrowly 4-3 at Kirkcaldy on Wednesday last week following a 4-2 December success in which Robbie Baillargeon’s brace gave MK a 2-0 lead in the first period before Flyers hit back with two goals in the middle session.
Eventually Flyers were seen off with third period strikes from Michael Fine and Tim Wallace.
British Columbia, Canada, born players lead the scoring stakes for the side led by the longest serving Elite League coach, Todd Dutiaume. Paul Crowder, from Victoria, who joined this season from Cardiff Devils is top of the chart with 19 goals and 21 assists – ranking him 11th in the Elite League standings. He holds dual Canadian-British nationality and is the brother of Tim Crowder who had assists on Coventry Blaze’s first two goals against MK at Planet Ice last Saturday.
Brett Bulmer from Prince George, BC, is second with 34 points – 13 goals and 21 helpers – while on the same number of points but with nine goals and 26 assists is long serving Carlo Finucci who first saw service in this country with Swindon Wildcats when they were Lightning’s English Premier League rivals. Finucci also hails from BC – Burnaby to be precise.
In between the pipes Ontario born Shane Owen has made the netminder’s spot his own this year after splitting the 2017-2018 season between four teams – two East Coast Hockey League teams in Wichita Thunder and Rapid City Rush, Karlskoga of Sweden’s second tier league, the Allsvenskan, and Katowice in Poland. He has a goals against average of 3.14 which puts him sixth in the Elite rankings – four places ahead of our own Patrick Killeen on .3.32.
Fife and Lightning will both be desperate to get back to winning ways – the Scots having been shut out in their own rink on Sunday when they went down 6-0 to table topping Cardiff Devils while MK lost both encounters last weekend – defeated by Coventry 6-2 and then losing 3-2 in overtime at Guildford Flames on Sunday.
Face off on Saturday is 7pm. 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.
On Sunday Lightning make the long journey north to meet former head coach Peter Russell’s Glasgow Clan at Braehead Arena.