Preview: MK Lightning v Glasgow Clan (3rd Feb)
By Paul Brookman
Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning will be looking for swift revenge when former coach Peter Russell’s Glasgow Clan visit Planet Ice for the second time in 10 days on Sunday. And at the same time they will be hoping to give the home faithful some much needed cheer.
Clan ran out 2-0 winners on that last encounter between the two teams – the game not really decided until Zack Fitzgerald shot through traffic to beat goalie Patrick Killeen 3mins 56secs from the final buzzer.
Craig Peacock gave Glasgow the lead after just 2mins 13secs and it’s true to say that Lightning struggled to get enough decent shots on goal to have any chance of beating goalie Joel Rumpel.
Coaches Ryan Lannon and Tim Wallace will no doubt have been studying the video of that game in a bid to ensure Lightning come out on top this week.
Since that clash Clan have shocked Sheffield Steelers with a 6-0 win at the FlyDSA Arena – the goals coming from four different players – before losing out 3-2 in overtime to Guildford Flames the next day.
On Tuesday they built a narrow 2-1 lead over Belfast Giants in the first leg of the Challenge Cup semi- final – the first goal going to Matt Beca four seconds from the first break. Beca is fourth highest points scorer in the Elite League standings with 19 goals and 32 assists while team-mate Brendan Connolly is tenth on 25 goals and 23 assists.
Clan’s decent form has seen them gradually climbing the table in the past few weeks – since their last visit to MK they have moved up from fifth to fourth spot and are well in contention for a play-off spot.
Lightning’s aim of a play-off place may be unrealistic now but the team will no doubt be keen to close the 14 points gap between them and second from bottom, Steelers.
Sunday’s face off is at the family friendly time of 5.15pm. Buy your tickets on the door or in advance at mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets. Alternatively call us on 01908 540020.