MK Thunder will face Streatham Redskins in the play-off quarter finals this Easter weekend, with the away leg on Saturday in Streatham before an Easter Sunday home leg at MK Arena.
The final game of the league season decided who the opponents would be, if Thunder had taken at least a point against Solent Devils in Gosport on Sunday, we would have move up to fifth place and faced Wightlink Raiders, but the narrow 5-4 loss kept them in sixth and sets up a mouth watering battle with the Redskins.
Thunder never came to terms with playing on the very small ice surface in Gosport where their finesse and speed were nullified by a Solent team well used to their home ice. Thunder’s forwards couldn’t find space to play and, while Devils simply crashed through the middle in numbers, never adapted comfortably.
Andrew Magee gave the home team the lead in the opening period and a short handed goal from Alex Murray extended that lead to 2-0 in the second period before Mathias Rugholm got Thunder on the scoreboard mid way through the period finishing off a move involving Jamie Line and Jamie Randall. Martyn Snape levelled the score at 32:11 but Devils regained the lead four minutes later with Magee scoring his second of the night. Solent then extended the lead to 4-2 early in the final period only for Thomas Castle to pull it back to 4-3 shortly afterwards.
As Thunder pressed for the equaliser, Devils caught them out again with Sampford making it 5 -3 with eight minutes to go. Tom Mboya got Thunder back to 5-4 with two minutes to go but the Milton Keynes side ran out of time and couldn’t find the equaliser.
At least Thunder will be pleased to have Streatham Redskins to play next, their big ice surface is the same size as MK Arena so the team will have space to move at speed.
Thunder are promoting the game in MK on Easter Sunday by offering free entry for kids and just £3 for Adults. Face off has been brought forward to 5:30pm.