The Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning recently announced the acquisition of Canadian netminder Patrick Killeen from the Italian elite league champions, Renon Ritten.  In the first of a series of interviews with Coach McKay’s 2018-19 roster, we got to know Patrick a little better.

Welcome to Milton Keynes Lightning – how are you feeling about coming to MK for your first experience of the British Elite League?
Thank you!  My wife, son and I are very excited about coming to Milton Keynes for the upcoming season. It’ll be a great opportunity for us to experience a new culture and explore a new area of Europe.

We’ve heard many clubs were interested in signing you but you chose Milton Keynes. What is it about Lightning that attracted you most?
I talked to Doug shortly after finishing up my season in Italy. I liked his plan for the team and I agreed with the direction that he wants to go in.  My wife and I visited London last season when I had a few days off, and it was easily one of my favourite cities – we talked the whole time about how great it would be to play there. I also have an old coach who played in London a while back and lived in Milton Keynes for his two years. He told me how much he loved it and how great of an experience it was for him and his family. Basically, everything added up and it just seemed like a great fit.

The fans here in Milton Keynes are known across the UK for being very vocal at games, we have even heard they’ve potentially got a song for you already! Just how important is it to you that the fans get behind the team? Does the atmosphere help to add to your performances on ice?
I think the atmosphere at hockey games in Europe are amazing. The songs and chants are such a unique experience for the players from North America. From what I’ve seen and heard, the fans in the UK are very passionate about the sport. I know several people who played in the UK last season, and they all told me that it was a great experience whenever they played in Milton Keynes. I am very much looking forward to the first game!

Doug has already confirmed signings of young Brits for the forthcoming season, how important do you think it is that we develop homegrown talent for British hockey? What do you know about the standard of hockey here in Britain?
I know that the quality of hockey in the EIHL is very high. I have played games against Nottingham and Sheffield during the past two seasons and was very impressed. I think its very important to develop homegrown talent. The national team in the UK has been consistently improving and had an amazing showing at this past World Championship. Its great to see hockey growing as a sport in places all over the world.

You will be teaming up with recently signed British Netminder Adam Goss. What do you know about Adam and are you looking forward to working alongside him in the forthcoming season?
I know where he played and his career experience. I think he will be a great addition to the team. His career has been outstanding so far and Mercyhurst is a very good D1 school in the USA. They have put quite a few goalies into the pro ranks, including the NHL. He is a great example of the type of talent that the UK can produce. I think it’s always important to have two good goalies on a team. It produces a great competitive camaraderie and you are always pushing each other to be better. It’s something that I am very much looking forward to!

Although only 28, you are a well established netminder with lots of experience playing in different leagues around the world. What sort of qualities do you think will you bring to the squad – on and off the ice?
I’m very fortunate to be going into my sixth year of pro hockey, it’s something that very few goalies get to experience. I have a lot of fun when I play and really enjoy playing in big games. I really like to be involved with the community off the ice. It’s such a perk to be able to absorb yourself into a new culture and meet new people from different places.

Outside of Hockey, what other interests do you have?
I recently became a father and am really enjoying this new part of my life. I really enjoy travelling and experiencing new types of food from different areas of the world. In the summer I spend most of my time training for hockey, working part time and being around friends and family. If I can find any extra spare time, I love to fish and golf.

What are your expectations for the forthcoming season? Do you set personal goals as well as for the team?
My expectations are simple this upcoming season. I think that we should be putting a good product on the ice. For me personally, I just want to give us a chance to win every night.

Patrick Killeen’s warm up, home and away jerseys are now available on our Own and Loan Scheme which sees your name on the back of his jersey for the season.  The match-worn jersey is then presented to its owner by the player at the end of the 2018-19 season, a unique memento of the player’s performances in the Elite League!  For full details and to apply, email Store@mk-lightning.co.uk

For an unusual but cost-effective way to promote your business, join the Lightning as Patrick Killeen’s corporate sponsor. This package includes your business logo on the player’s jersey and announced at the start of every game he plays, as well as every time he scores a goal or assist during a match.  Contact our Commercial Manager Sarah Jane Smyth for information by emailing sarah-jane@mk-lightning.co.uk.