Month: November 2017

Thunder to host NHS Night on Sunday, Dec 3

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By Tom Hurley

MK Thunder ice hockey club are excited to dedicate the game against Basingstoke Bison this coming Sunday, Dec. 3, as NHS Night.

NHS Night will see all NHS staff gain free entry on the production of their NHS ID at the turnstiles on match night.

The NIHL South 1 contest at Planet Ice Milton Keynes — a one-minute walk from Milton Keynes Central train station — gets underway at 6:30 p.m.

Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust CEO Joe Harrison was elated upon learning Thunder will be inviting all NHS staff to attend Sunday’s game free of charge.

“We are delighted that Milton Keynes Thunder have decided to support the hospital with hosting this free event for our staff on Sunday,”  Harrison said.

“Sport is a fantastic way of bringing people together and the event provides a great opportunity for our staff to be out in the community with the population that we serve and support.

“All of our staff do an amazing job every single day, so it is brilliant to see that MK Thunder have gone out of their way to recognise this.”

Thunder’s Head of Media and Marketing, Tom Hurley, explained the club wanted to give back to the healthcare professionals that look after the local community, including Thunder players.

“NHS staff do a wonderful job of caring for everyone in our community, and we are excited to invite these outstanding people to Planet Ice as a thank you for all the brilliant work they do year-round,” Hurley said.

“Ice hockey is a contact sport, and our players are no strangers to accident and emergency rooms around the country — where they always receive superb care and attention from the multidiscipline teams.

“We hope everyone enjoys our hospitality, while having a thrilling night out and making lots of noise for the team. Everyone at the club is looking forward to greeting our new friends to the Thunder family on Sunday.”

Thunder head coach Lewis Clifford echoed the sentiments.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to welcome employees from the NHS to this Sunday’s game,” Clifford said. “It never fails to amaze me how much good work the staff at hospitals and doctors surgeries carry out and we are so fortunate to live in a country where the healthcare is not only excellent, but also free.

“It’s not much to give back to the people who work so hard for us, but hopefully providing them with a free night’s entertainment goes a little way to saying thank you to them for all they do.”

Ticket prices for non-NHS staff are at the regular low prices of £9 Adults, £5 Concessions (Students, Over 65s, Supporters Registered Disabled), and £1 Under 16s.

Josh Crane stars as Thunder douse Cardiff Fire

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By Tom Hurley

Teenager Josh Crane made 22 saves to earn a win in his first NIHL South 1 start as Thunder beat Cardiff Fire, 4-2, at Planet Ice on Sunday night.

Cardiff netminder Jordan Lawday was also on fine form, pulling off a string of saves to keep the much-improved Fire within touching distance of their first win since promotion from NIHL 2 last season.

The visitors got on the scoresheet first when Michael Stratford and Callum Buglass broke free on the counter attack, with the former’s shot beating Crane for a 1-0 lead.

Alex Whyte tucked home from a tight angle on the rebound from Nidal Phillip’s blue-line blast to level the score midway through the first period, before captain Jamie Line’s wrist shot put Thunder 2-1 up heading into the first intermission.

Lawday somehow kept MKT from extending their advantage, and his teammates made the most of his efforts when Thunder fell into penalty trouble late in the second period. As two men in white jerseys sat in the penalty box, Kalle Allner found the back of the net on the 5-on-3 power play to tie the game heading into the third frame.

Thunder came out for the third period full of desire, and sustained pressure in the offensive end paid off when Rio Grinell-Parke backhanded home from close range after Ross Bowers’ shot was kicked to the teenager by Lawday.

Emotions flared as Fire sniffed the opportunity to avoid defeat for the first time this season. But they were to be denied any chance of a comeback when Grant McPherson stepped out from behind the net to fire the puck into the top corner and secure the 4-2 win for Lewis Clifford’s men.

Thunder return to home ice this coming Sunday, Dec 3 for the visit of Basingstoke Bison. Puck drop at Planet Ice is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Adult tickets are priced at only £9, Concessions and MKL season ticket holders £5, and Under 16s just £1.

FINAL SCORE

Results

Team1st2nd3rdF
MK Thunder2024
Cardiff Fire1102

Rio Grinell-Parke enjoying life with Thunder


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Thunder ready for ‘tough’ Cardiff Fire challenge

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By Tom Hurley

Thunder return to NIHL South 1 action on Sunday when Cardiff Fire visit Milton Keynes for a 6:30 p.m. face off at Planet Ice.

Lewis Clifford’s squad enjoyed a well-earned rest last weekend after picking up two points over the weekend of Nov. 11 and 12 when MKT faced title favourites Peterborough Phantoms and Basingstoke Bison.

Cardiff (0-14-0 NIHL) enter the contest on the back of a 5-1 defeat to Swindon Wildcats in the Welsh capital last Sunday, which followed a narrow 5-3 loss to Streatham IHC on home ice on Nov. 5.

The Fire stepped up to NIHL South 1 this year after gaining promotion from the second division last season, and have so far found life difficult in the second tier of British ice hockey. Cardiff have seen steady improvement, however, and will bring an improved unit to Milton Keynes than the side that lost 6-0 to Thunder in South Wales earlier in the campaign.

Thunder forward Rio Grinell-Parke says he expects to face a hard-working and physical team when the two clubs meet again on Sunday.

“I don’t think it’s gonna be an easy game,” Grinell-Parke said. “It was tough when we played them at Cardiff. They’re a pretty tough team, they’re constantly on you, they finish checks. They’re definitely gonna make us work for the win.”

Former Coventry Blaze and Cardiff Devils forward Samuel Smith leads the Fire with eight points in nine games, with ex-Swindon Wildcats and Manchester Phoenix youngster Michael Stratford second in scoring with five goals and two assists.

Thunder (5-6-3 NIHL) teenagers Josh Crane and Grinell-Parke enter the game buoyed by the news they have made GB U20 head coach Slava Koulikov’s reserve list fo the upcoming World Championships in Dumfries, Scotland.

The red and black are led in scoring by Ross Bowers on 14 points, with captain Jamie Line sitting on 13 points, and Grinell-Parke not far behind with 10 points on the season.

Tickets for Sunday’s game are priced at £9 Adults, £5 Concessions/MKL season ticket holders, and £1 Under 16s. Follow @thunder_mk on Twitter for score updates from Planet Ice from 6:30 p.m. onwards.