While Lightning bid farewell to Planet Ice with their play-off win over Slough, MK Thunder have a play-off of their own this Saturday.
Having closed off their regular season with a road trip to Gosport on Sunday, MK Thunder can now focus on the challenge of the play-off quarter-finals this coming weekend, a challenge that sees them drawn against the new League Champions Chelmsford Chieftains.
Chieftains, coached by ex-Lightning favourite Gary Clarke, have won the league against tough opposition, playing skilful fast flowing hockey so Thunder have a mountain to climb if they are to progress to the semis.
With the home leg on Saturday, Thunder will be hoping to take a lead and defend it in Chelmsford on Sunday.
Although results between the two teams in the league would suggest otherwise, Thunder have had some very close games with Chieftains, indeed the last time the teams met in the play-offs in 2011, Thunder only lost by a single goal at home and were drawing 3-3 after two periods in Chelmsford only losing out in the final period as they ran out of legs.
The task this coming weekend will be made more difficult with Thunder’s top scorer Connor Goode playing for Lightning at the EPL play-off weekend in Coventry, but otherwise the NIHL team should be close to full strength for the weekend.
For ice hockey fans unable to get to Coventry, the game between Thunder and Chieftains promises to be exciting play-off hockey with Thunder battling to overturn the odds on the night. Face off is 7pm at the Thunderdome.