Saturday 7th March 2020, Face off 7pm, Doors Open 6:00pm

Tickets available here

Leeds Chiefs make their final visit of the 2019-2020 season to Planet Ice on Saturday with Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning looking for the two points to almost ensure they qualify for the end of season play-offs.

Chiefs have had a difficult first campaign in the National Ice Hockey League, mostly due to the delays in opening their new Elland Road rink – it only saw Leeds in action there towards the end of January. As a result of the problems player-coach Sam Zajac released the two top scorers, Radek Meidl and James Archer in early December.

Although he was able to bring in Patrik Valcak to replace Meidl it is fair to say he has not racked up the points in the way his fellow countryman did. In fact although Brit Adam Barnes now leads the scoring tally with 47 points – 24 goals and 23 assists – Meidl and Archer continue to occupy number two and three in the Chiefs scoring stakes. Valcak meanwhile has managed five goals and eight assists from 11 games – three of those goals coming with a hat-trick when his team beat Sheffield Steeldogs 5-4 a few weeks ago.

While Barnes may lead the scoring for Chiefs he falls short of the scoring records of four Lightning players. Led by Tomas Kana with 58 points (25 goals and 33 assists) he just pips Cale Tanaka with 20 goals and 37 assists for 57 points going into Saturday’s game.

Leigh Jamieson who completed his 500th game for Lightning at Swindon Wildcats on Sunday is next in the rankings with 50 points – 12 goals and 38 assists – while Liam Stewart is next on 49 points, massing 34 goals and 15 helpers.

Despite Leeds occupying the anchor position in the league with no hope of making the play-offs Lightning coach Lewis Clifford will be instilling in his players the message that they cannot afford to take things easy.

Last time the two teams met in the city MK ran out narrow 4-3 winners – but only after recovering from a 3-1 deficit at the first interval, so there’s no room for complacency. The next day Lightning did better at Elland Road, running out 4-1 victors – there is one more meeting in Yorkshire next weekend.

Don’t miss out on being there as the season hots up in readiness for the play-offs. Face off on Saturday is at 7pm. Buy your tickets in advance to avoid the queues by phoning 01908 540020, or going online here

Photo: Mel Dickens