Lightning keep netminding duo

Stephen Wall. Pic: Jez Tibbetts.
Stephen Wall. Pic: Jez Tibbetts.

Netminders Stephen Wall and Jordan Hedley have both agreed to return to MK Lightning next season.

The 2014-15 season will be Wall’s third year with Lightning, in the latest chapter of a career in the game which began with Whitley Warriors in his native North East.

That career has also included seven seasons with local rivals the Peterborough Phantoms, before he signed on the dotted line for Nick Poole in the summer of 2012.

Wall said how much he looks forward to the new season - and not just for returning to the Thunderdome.

He said: “I’m looking forward to getting into the new rink and soon afterwards there’ll be a ‘mini Wall’ when our baby arrives in October, so that will be fun!

“As soon as Nick asked me to come back I accepted straight away. Milton Keynes is a great place to play and I’ve loved the last two seasons - despite all the travelling of last year.

“It should be an exciting season as some teams have new owners and some great players have come to the EPL, and that can only make it what could be the best year in the EPL for a long time.”

Hedley will celebrate his 18th birthday this summer whilst looking forward to a season where he knows he will be well tested, the English Premier League player market having been bolstered by several signings from the Elite League.

He said: “I’ll be working hard this summer on my game and fitness so by the start of the new season I should be feeling better than ever. Over the break I’ll be working with Stevie Lyle, and also Klemen Mohoric, a professional net minding coach from the Russian KHL league - I can’t wait to get started again with the Lightning and put into practice what I’ve learned.”

Nick Poole, MK Lightning Head Coach said: “I’m really pleased to be bringing both Wally and Jordan back for another season. Both of them are very skilled netminders and will be the backbone of our defence next season.

“It was a really tough year for both last year as I know they didn’t see enough rubber in training, because we weren’t on the ice anywhere near as much as we wanted to be.

“I know that as we get back to a normal training schedule, both of them will be more comfortable and I think we’ll see an even higher standard of consistency from them.

“Wally has won every trophy in the league and I know he’s keen to taste success with Milton Keynes. He’s a great shot stopper and calm in the nets, which brings a great deal of confidence to the guys in front of him.

“Jordan has bags of potential and like Wally is a big goalie that gives little away. With a good year of senior hockey behind him last year I’ll be looking for him to push on and really start to challenge for the number one spot.”