Preview: Lightning v Belfast Giants (27th Jan)
By Paul Brookman
High flying Belfast Giants come to Planet Ice on Sunday for what is undeniably a tough test for Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning.
Giants will arrive off the back of a double header against Fife Flyers at the SSE Arena on Friday and Saturday when they will have been looking to bounce back from a pair of consecutive losses at table topping Cardiff Devils last weekend.
Those Devils victories saw the Welsh side go 11 points clear at the head of the Elite League – albeit having played two more games than Giants.
This is the final meeting between Lightning and Giants this season – so far MK have drawn a blank in terms of wins with Belfast successful on each of the five previous meetings this campaign.
Coached by former fan favourite Adam Keefe the key to Giants’ success seems to be quality players across all departments. Backed up by netminder Tyler Beskorowany they have a stopper who is top of the goalie stats and who has a goals against average of a miserly 2.10 per game for a 92 per cent save average.
You won’t see any forward in the top five Elite League scoring charts – rather Blair Riley with 23 goals and 23 assists comes in at number 10, four places in front of Darcy Murphy with 24 plus 19 while in 17th spot is David Rutherford with 14 plus 28. Former Lightning man Lewis Hook has registered four goal and eight assists.
Previous to those clashes in Cardiff the Northern Irish outfit had won seven out of nine games – albeit seven of them being on home ice.
Lightning will need to be on their best form to get the right result - whatever happens, it promises to be an exciting game!
Don’t forget Sunday’s face off is at the family friendly time of 5.15pm - and you can skate with the players free of charge straight after the game! Buy your tickets on the door or in advance at mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets. Alternatively call us on 01908 540020.