LIGHTNING general manager Vito Rausa is calling on the club’s fans to cheer them on to victory in this weekend’s English Premier League play-off quarter final.
The city side take on Basingstoke Bison in their last eight tie with the aggregate winner progressing to the semi-finals at the Coventry Skydome Arena on 9 April, before the final the following day.
And after finishing fifth in the normal EPL season, four-time play-off winners Lightning are out for revenge against a Bison side who beat them just last weekend.
Nick Poole’s side lost 4-3 in Hampshire after initially opening up a two goal lead - meaning honours are even between the two sides this season, with three wins each. And both go into this weekend’s double-header with very similar runs of league form behind them, Basingstoke having won five of their last 10 EPL games and Lightning four.
Now Rausa is hoping that Lightning can have the last laugh and finish their season on a high in Coventry. He said: “We owe it to our fans to get to the finals.
“We’ve had some terrific home attendances this season, and the supporters have really got behind the team and almost been an extra man on the ice, and that backing was very much evident last Sunday when we lost to Slough by only the narrowest of margins - the atmosphere in the rink was electric!
“It would be great to see another massive crowd at Planet Ice this Saturday to really get behind the guys. We know we’re lucky to have a very loyal group of travelling supporters who travel and support us at the away games too.
“Getting to the finals in Coventry means absolutely everything to this club - not just the players but the backroom staff, sponsors, and everyone connected with Lightning. Our supporters are always the best at Coventry and we feel we owe it to them to do everything in our power to get there - to repay them for the faith they’ve shown in us all season.”
Lightning face-off against Bison at 7.00pm on Saturday at Planet Ice before the second leg in Basingstoke on Sunday.
The other quarter finals see Guildford take on Swindon, Peterborough face Slough and championship winners Manchester play Sheffield.