MILTON KEYNES, 18 July 2019: The start of the 2019/20 league season might still be several weeks away but today we can give some dates for your diary, your first opportunity to see the new team.
Over the weekend of September 7th & 8th, the Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning will play the Bradfield Brewery Sheffield Steeldogs as both sides take to the ice for the first time.
Saturday 7th will see Milton Keynes hosting, with the action moving to iceSheffield on Sunday 8th.
There is long and eventful history of matches between the two teams but this will be the first meeting since the final EPL season, when MKL won the playoff title prior to joining the Elite League.
With both teams in the same conference in the new National pision, this will be an opportunity to put a marker down for the battles to come.
Steeldogs Head Coach Ben Morgan is looking forward to getting back on the ice;
“I am hoping for exciting, close games between ourselves and MK – just we had in the old EPL days. We had similar playing styles and similar philosophies in terms of using relatively home-grown players and adding extra quality with imports.
“The Lightning will be an interesting challenge with players who have stepped up from MK Thunder who will see this as a new challenge and those who have been away for a few years will see this as a homecoming. I think everyone will be happy to be playing in the National pision as it will offer a very competitive standard of hockey. I hope once the games get underway the quality of the league itself will win over many fans.
“MK have got some experienced guys in the team and it is good to see that there are some of the same faces knocking around who are my age. We would hope to see a decent following from Milton Keynes as they always used to have a loud support and of course we want to see plenty of Steeldogs both home and away.”
Lightning Head Coach Lewis Clifford is also keen to return to action;
“I haven’t coached against Sheffield for a few years, but I saw them play at Coventry this year and I saw that they were still built in a very similar way to the old EPL days, a team that has always had an identity as a good skating, hardworking, tough team to play against.”
“Playing the Steeldogs will give us a great starting point for our campaign, a team we need to get used to playing as they are in our conference and a team who will certainly get us up to speed quickly as they will turn up on both nights ready to work hard and they will most certainly be looking to turn us over. The first game for any new roster is always an exciting moment, and I am looking forward to seeing my team in action for the first time against Ben Morgan’s side!”
Tickets for both games will be available in advance, details to be confirmed shortly.
Saturday September 7th
Lightning vs Steeldogs
7:00 faceoff at Planet Ice, Milton Keynes
Sunday September 8th
Steeldogs vs Lightning
4:30 faceoff at iceSheffield