It’s Charity night this weekend as Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning welcome Bracknell Bees to Planet Ice on Saturday for the second meeting between the two teams in just under a fortnight.  We will be raising money for Milton Keynes Hospital Charity Cancer Centre appeal.

Essential Info – Doors Open 6pm, Warm up 6:20pm, Face Off 7pm.

Tickets available here or on 01908 540020.

To get you in the mood, check out DJ Bertie’s pre-match playlist here.  During the first period interval we will have 14 year old Louis Gregory performing his figure skating routine for us as well as the usual chuck-a-duck in the second interval.  Grab a copy of the matchnight magazine ‘Let’s Talk Lightning’ created with 123 Internet group for just £3 and it covers the rest of October’s matches.  Also don’t forget to pick up your 50/50, Ollie’s Grid (to win the #26 blood shirt) and Shirt off His Back tickets (to win #12 Clifford and #1 Skinns shirts).  Charity shirt Own and Loan shirts will be washed after the match and presented to you at next Sunday’s game nice and fresh!

Before the match will be a ceremonial puck drop with the charity representative, Dave Bunyan (Supporters’ Club Chairman) and Claire Eason-Bassett (CEO of MKIHC).  Afterwards we will have a cheque presentation to the charity, so thank you all for your support!

Match preview

This time Lightning will be hoping to go one better than in the last meeting at The Hive when they suffered the disappointment of a penalty shootout loss after leading the game for much of regulation time.  Milton Keynes sees the return of Dean Skinns who was first choice netminder for the club in the 2015-2016 season. After the much travelled goalie left Lightning he saw duties with Guildford Flames before returning to his native Basingstoke Bison – last year keeping guard between the pipes for tonight’s visitors. Skinns has joined MK on a game by game basis as cover for Jordan Lawday who has picked up an injury.

Lightning will be hoping to see the return of Captain Russ Cowley, and Cale Tanaka returns to the squad after missing Sunday’s game at Peterborough.  The team will be looking to improve on last weekend’s performances and have been training hard this week to work on their game.

There are some familiar names in the Bees’ line-up not least goalie Adam Goss and defenceman Ed Knaggs. Goss was back-up to Patrick Killeen last season at Lightning while Knaggs learned his hockey in Milton Keynes and was on the fringes of the senior side at one stage  Alongside bottom placed Leeds Chiefs, the goal scoring record of Bees is the worst in the National Ice Hockey League, having registered 16 goals in seven games. However thanks to a better defensive record they go into the weekend in sixth place in the table.

Interestingly Knaggs is the second highest points scorer for Bees with four assists, behind Czech forward Roman Malinik who has found the net four times and added two assists. Fellow Czech Robin Kovar has been around the UK scene for a few years. He joined Bees from Blackburn Hawks this season after playing in Hungary and Kazakhstan. Previous to that he spent three and a half successful years with Manchester Phoenix before their demise, being picked up by Swindon Wildcats for the latter end of the 2016-2017 campaign.

Face off on Saturday is 7pm. Tickets are available in advance from Planet Ice on 01908 540020 and online here. On Sunday Lightning make the trip to Romford to take on Raiders at 5.15pm.