Important information: Please note, that the underground carpark at Morrisons will now close at 8pm each night. This means that you will not be able to park in there for Saturday night hockey matches. There is plenty of above ground parking available around Morrisons so please use this instead. This decision has been taken by Morrisons due to a number of incidents of antisocial behaviour, and is in no way hockey related! We apologies for any inconvenience this will cause.
There’s a double feast of hockey on offer at Planet Ice this weekend with back to back home games for Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning against Hull Pirates and Basingstoke Bison.
First up are Jason Hewitt’s Hull Pirates at 7pm on Saturday when Lightning will be looking to extend their three game running streak against the team placed fourth in the table but just three points ahead of MK who occupy seventh spot.
On Sunday Basingstoke visit the city in a game postponed from earlier in the month – face off is at the family friendly time of 5.15pm. Bison go into the weekend fifth in the table on the same number of points as Hull but having played one more game than the northern side.
Both games give Lightning a real chance of narrowing the gap on two sides above them – an important factor as the end of season play-offs loom ever nearer with the final league positions deciding who plays who in the post league competition.
While head coach of Pirates Hewitt is leading the way in points scoring for his club – and indeed the league – Bison player coach Ashley Tait is showing the example for his team. Although 30 points behind the Hull chief who has 92 points with 39 goals and 53 assists, Tait is still good for eighth spot in the league rankings with 18 goals and 44 assists.
Where the two players do differ is in the number of penalty points. While Hewitt has 110 Tait, who saw service as injury cover for Lightning during their debut Elite League season a couple of years ago, has just 78 minutes in the sin bin.
As Lightning are placed in the northern divide of the National Ice Hockey League they play Hull four times at home and four times away. In contrast they face Bison, in the southern section, twice at home and twice away – this is the final regular season between the two teams here at Planet Ice while MK still have one more date up north with Pirates next month.
You can be sure Lightning will be aiming to be on the top of their game for these two vital encounters. Come and be loud and proud for MK Lightning. Buy your tickets in advance for both games by calling 01908 540020, or here.
Photo: Tony Sargent