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PREVIEW: Lightning v Storm (7pm Sat 7 Oct)

This weekend your Smith Recycling MK Lightning have back to back fixtures against the surging Manchester Storm, starting with a matchup at Planet Ice MK Arena at 7pm Saturday (7 October).

It was a mixed bag of results for both Lightning and Storm last weekend; on Saturday the Lightning took a 3-2 win in front of their home support to defeat fellow Elite League newcomers the Guildford Flames. Lightning scored first and never relinquished their lead but were pushed hard by Coach Dixon and his team – a great illustration of the resilience and tenacity of the new look Lightning side.

Manchester fell to defeat at the hands of Nottingham Panthers last Saturday, losing 3-2 on the road at the Motorpoint Arena – the 24 hours later notching a 2-1 win over Belfast Giants on home ice in Altrincham.

Sunday was less successful, the team leaving Scotland on the wrong end of a 5-1 score line after visiting the Dundee Stars for the first time this season.

This weekend’s opposition the Storm sit top of the Elite League with 5 wins from 6 fixtures so far. Only Sheffield Steelers in second spot have scored more goals. Conversely the Storm have conceded the third highest number of goals – at 22 in the ‘goals against’ column, three more than the Lightning.

Image courtesy of Manchester Storm IHC

The hosts sit eighth in the 12 team league table with two wins from five games played, however following a run of Cup matches, Coach Russell’s team now has a sustained series of league games in their sights with which to aim for valuable points.

Top scorer so far for the Storm is Canadian forward Mike Hammond who transferred from the Braehead Clan in the summer, followed by Matt Beca and Chris Auger. Canadian Dane Byers leads the way for assists, having helped set up two of the six goals the side scored against MKL when the sides last met, in mid September.

Kevin King, Lewis Hook and Guillaume Doucet are equal top league goal scorers for the Lightning so far with three goals each. Carl Hudson and Paul Phillips have both been proving their worth as playmakers, both having set up four goals each, whilst King, Foster, Kearney, Gibson and Isackson have each set up two league goals so far.

Everything seems set up for a mouthwatering home clash this Saturday night – tickets are already selling well and we recommend supporters buy in advance to get the best choice of seats and avoid queuing on matchnight!

Book in advance by going online at www.mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets, phoning 01908 540020 or visiting the MK Arena ticket office in person, 7 days a week.