Preview: MK Lightning v Guildford Flames (22nd March)
By Paul Brookman
Long time rivals Guildford Flames make their final visit to Planet Ice on Friday – not just for the season but for the foreseeable future with Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning out to grab a consolation victory for old times’ sake.
Lightning have yet to win in seven competitive match ups this term against the side that made the switch to the Elite League at the same time as them two years ago. While Flames will be continuing in the top tier of hockey next year Lightning are dropping down to the National Ice Hockey League.
As such it is interesting make some comparisons between the two organisations. Flames’ average attendances in their English Premier League days were 100-200 higher than that of MK’s 1,500, and since moving up they have managed to add an extra 200-300 extra spectators for each game at the Spectrum Centre. Lightning by comparison still have lower crowds than Flames despite also boosting numbers by more than 200.
There ends the similarities with Flames having made considerable progress this term – reaching the final of the Challenge Cup before losing 2-1 in overtime to Belfast Giants and being on course to finish a place higher in the league. In comparison Lightning will finish a spot lower than last year in bottom spot.
In forward Kruise Reddick they have the 11th highest points scorer in the league with 25 goals and 38 assists while John Dunbar comes in at number 21 on 54 points (12 goals and 42 assists). Defensively Guildford can also pack a punch with Calle Ackered’s 46 points (23 goals and 23 assists) putting him third on the D-man rankings and Jesse Craige two places behind with 42 points (five goals and 37 helpers).
So make the most of top tier hockey in Milton Keynes before it ends by being at Planet Ice on Friday for a 7.30pm face off against Flames. Book your tickets at mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets. Alternatively buy your tickets on the door or in advance. Call us on 01908 540020.