Opponents: Hull Pirates

Date: Saturday September 14th

Key timings: Doors Open 18:00.  Warm-up 18:20.  Face-off 19:00 

Tickets available here

With our first pre-season weekend giving us plenty of encouragement on the ice, with some strong performances and work ethic, it’s now behind us so time to look to our second set of warm-up matches.

National Ice Hockey League play-off champions Hull Pirates promise to present a stiff test for Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning when they visit Planet Ice for a pre-season challenge match on Saturday, writes Paul Brookman.

Pirates beat Lightning’s local rivals, Peterborough Phantoms, with a Bobby Chamberlain overtime goal in the play-off final in April. Chamberlain is, of course a familiar name to MK supporters as he spent a season and a half here in the club’s English Premier League days.  Since then his career has mainly been with Pirates – having also played for the forerunner team, Hull Stingrays in their Elite League days.

Hull have two new imports this season – centre man, Slovakian born Peter Fabus comes in from Poland, having spent last season with Jastzebie where he scored 43 points. Earlier in the 40 year old’s career he played 33 games in the American Hockey League with Springfield Falcons.  The other import is Latvian Olegs Sislannikovs who was with Ritten in Italy during the last campaign – bagging 37pts including 14 goals.

There are plenty of familiar names on Pirates’ roster from the days when Lightning were in the EPL – Matty Davies was lacing them up for Telford Tigers in 2016-2017 – the next year he recorded an impressive 117pts for Hull and last year picked up 55pts from only 19 outings.  Player-coach Jason Hewitt is another name MKL fans will remember while love him or hate him; Andre Payette is director at Pirates.

Lightning Head Coach Lewis Clifford will be looking to build on last weekend’s pair of not too shoddy one goal defeats to Sheffield Steeldogs, the club that ended second to Pirates in the NIHL1 North last time out.

Another week of training will no doubt have helped build team cohesion and allow Lightning to show that they can be a force to be reckoned with ahead of next weekend’s league opener – against Hull.

Saturday’s face off is at 7pm – this is a game where season tickets are valid.

General Admission tickets are available here