MILTON Keynes-born Ross Bowers will return to the Lightning ranks for a seventh English Premler League ice hockey season this September, and he’s determined to win some silverware.
One of the real characters in the dressing room, the 2012 campaign will be the forward’s seventh with Lightning in the decade since their formation, and his coach is delighted to see him commit to the club once again.
In 2002 and at the age of just 17, in his debut season with MK Thunder, he took the title of top points scorer thanks to 15 goals and nine assists from 13 games.
And the following season saw a haul of 31 points in 16 outings with Thunder, and more than 20 appearances for Lightning in a season where they won both the league and play-off trophies.
In 2004 Bowers made the transition to Lightning full time where he stayed for four consecutive seasons. He spent much of the 2008 season playing Elite League ice hockey with Basingstoke Bison, but the following year he was back in his home town and contributed a respectable 40 points.
The sport took a backseat in 2009 with Bowers prioritising his work, but he lost none of his passion for the game, bagging 62 points in 30 games, which included 37 goals – making him Thunder’s top points and goal scorer for the season.
Thunder’s loss was Lightning’s gain again in 2011 when he returned to Nick Poole’s team, and where he remains for 2012.
“I’m really happy to be staying with Lightning for another season,” said Bowers. “Everybody involved with the club, from top to bottom, makes it such a special and enjoyable place to play.
“Like everyone else in the team, next year I’ll be doing whatever I can to help win some more silverware – there are space s in the trophy cabinet that need filling!
“I’m really excited about the team Nick’s putting together, and I’m sure we will be challenging for all three trophies. We have the best fans in the league bar none and we all want to give them something to cheer about.”
Head coach Poole said: “Ross is a fantastic lad and a real talent, and we are pleased to have him commit to us for another season.
“He’s a strong skater with a great release that has the potential to really add to our offense. He’s great in the room and I know he’s looking to make hockey more of a priority this coming season.
“Having a talent like him gives us real depth as he can play in several situations and will provide the forward players with competition for ice time.”