Lightning ready to strike in Coventry

Lightning vs Chelmsford. Pic: Jez Tibbetts
Lightning vs Chelmsford. Pic: Jez Tibbetts

Milton Keynes Lightning will play their first match in Coventry this Saturday and they cannot wait make themselves at home.

More than six months after the announcement that Planet Ice would be rebuilt, Lightning will face off against Guildford Flames in the Skydome on Saturday night in the League Cup.

They’ll have plenty of time to get used to their new surroundings too, with two more matches scheduled against Basingstoke Bison and Manchester Phoenix before the Premier League gets underway in October.

Nick Poole’s men won their first pre-season friendly, beating Chelmsford Chieftains in a thrilling 6-2.

And last Saturday, Lightning began brightly in the away first leg of the annual ‘Ashes’ contest against Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday, going ahead just before the first break and increasing their lead with two quick second period goals to leave their opposition stunned.

The Phantoms fought back in the final period, four goals in a ten minute period giving them a narrow 5-3 advantage going into the second leg.

But all eyes are now firmly facing Saturday’s match. Not only is it the first time Lightning will skate out in their new home, but they will also be facing the league champions.

But coach Nick Poole, who came out of retirement to play during pre-season, cannot wait to get started.

He said: “Yes this is the league champions we face, but we’ll approach this game the way we would any other game. I’m more than happy with the roster we have for this season.

“It’s a great blend of youth and experience, with ambitious young players like Jordan Hedley, Ben Russell and Jordan Cownie, backing up the experienced players in the roster and pushing them all the way.

“Everyone is looking forward to getting on with the season in our new base; the management of both Planet Ice and the Blaze have been incredibly helpful in accommodating us for a season and we can’t wait to get started.

“It’s a slightly smaller rink than we’re used to as the Thunderdome rink is Olympic dimensions, but we think the change will benefit us in some ways.

“Our supporters have been fantastic, going along to the Fans’ Forums in big numbers all through the summer.

“The uptake on shirt sponsorship has been much better than we could’ve ever hoped for in the circumstances, and a lot of interest in the transport we’re putting on and car sharing.

“We know there’s a lot of enthusiasm out there and we can’t wait to see and hear our fans in Coventry to help us make the Skydome our own for a season.”

The newest chapter of MK Lightnings story begins here.