JORDAN Hedley’s reward for a man of the match performance against Telford was a crate of beer – unfortunately the young Lightning netminder isn’t old enough to drink yet.
The 16-year-old was handed his first Lightning start in the 3-0 friendly win over Tigers on Saturday, and fully justified coach Nick Poole’s faith in him with an accomplished display between the pipes, and of course, a well deserved shutout.
Having been too young to play competitive ice hockey for the city’s English Premier League side before, the Milton Keynes College student was restricted to MK Storm’s U18 side last season, coming up through the ranks since first playing the sport when he was just eight.
In fact it was an extremely busy weekend for the former Oakgrove pupil who also played in goal for MK Thunder on Sunday – less than 24 hours after making his Lightning bow.
That English National League game ended in 6-3 defeat to Cardiff Devils, but the whole experience has been a memorable one for Hedley, who hopes to one day make the permanent transition to the city’s senior side.
“I’ve been going to Lightning games with my dad for years, so to be out there playing for the team was really great,” said Hedley, who is studying sports science at college.
“I was really nervous about it, even when I was warming up with the team before the game. I had a good idea I was going to play for a few weeks, but it was only really confirmed last Thursday.
“The game went really well. We had a great defence and Telford only had long range shots against me.
“Now I want to try and keep my place in the Thunder team and one day play for Lightning again.
“My dad took the crate of beer. I haven’t had any!”