Month: September 2017

Grant McPherson talks hat tricks, Bracknell

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McPherson prepared for Bracknell Bees

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By Tom Hurley

MK Thunder (2-3-1 NIHL) get their second bite at Scott Spearing’s Bracknell Bees on Sunday when the two teams meet for a 6.00 p.m. game at The John Nike Leisuresport Complex.

The Bees (2-1-0 NIHL) earned a 7-5 win over Thunder at Planet Ice on opening night thanks to hat tricks from Frantisek Bakrlik and Shaun Thompson. Thunder twice held the lead in that game before Bracknell’s start players led a comeback that saw them skate home victorious.

“It’s gonna be a tough game, said Thunder forward Grant McPherson of Sunday’s clash. “They’ve got some big names in their team.”

McPherson missed the first meeting between the two sides and says that Head Coach Lewis Clifford has he and his teammates ‘well-drilled’ and ready to fight for a better result this time around.

“Overall, I think we’re stronger in depth and hopefully that’ll show on Sunday,” McPherson said. “We’re going there for the two points and hopefully we can come out of there with them.”

The clash in Berkshire is Thunder’s lone game of the weekend after starting the year with three double headers, while the Bees travel to Basingstoke for a cup clash on Saturday night.

Thompson and Bakrlik top the league scoring charts with 14 and 12 points respectively through their first three NIHL games of the season. Thunder captain Jamie Line sits third in the league’s leading scorers with nine points, ahead of Ross Bowers and Rio Grinnell-Parke who both have seven.

Clifford’s men could return to the top of NIHL South 1 with a win on Sunday if other results go their way.

MKT’s next home game is on Sunday, October 15, when Invicta Dynamos visit Planet Ice in NIHL South 1 action. Tickets for the game are priced at £9 Adults, £5 Concessions/MKL season ticket holders, and £1 Under 16s.

NIHL launches Player of the Month awards

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The best players in the National Ice Hockey League are to be recognised with the announcement of divisional Player of the Month awards.

This coming weekend is the final weekend for the September awards, with the inaugural winners announced early next week. The players will receive their awards at their first home game after the announcement.

An NIHL spokesman said: “As a league we are always looking for ways to improve and try to promote our clubs, the league and the sport.

The Player of the Month awards will recognise the players who in the panel’s opinion show the highest standards of play and conduct across the month.

September has seen the NIHL leagues settling down and there has already been some exceptional play in all divisions, so the first awards will be closely contested I’m sure.”

Details of the September NIHL Players of the Month will be released on EIHA website and social media early next week, with awards presented on the weekend of 7/8 October.

Highlights: MK Thunder vs P’boro Phantoms

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Thunder fall to Phantoms on home ice

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By Tom Hurley

Thunder held a 2-1 lead over Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday before ultimately falling 5-2 at Planet Ice Milton Keynes.

Peterborough opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Glenn Billing forced a turnover in the attacking zone and found James White who snapped the puck past Annetts.

Thunder equalized late in the period after Tom Carlon intercepted a pass at mid-ice, raced down the boards, and found McPherson in front who’s rebound was put home by Gareth O’Flaherty.

O’Flaherty scored again on the power play eight minutes into the second by jamming the puck in after he and Mboya battled Phantoms defenders for the rebound from Greg Randall’s slap shot.

Scott Robson leveled through a three-man screen in the 34th minute, moments after MKT had killed off a penalty.

Phantoms went ahead less than two minutes later when Will Weldon was the first man to the rebound from Ales Padelek’s shot from the left wing.

Robson’s laser through a screen with 13 seconds left on the clock gave Peterborough a 4-2 lead at the second intermission.

Padelek scored early in the third to wrap up the 5-2 Phantoms win after being set up by former MK Lightning defenseman Thomas Norton.