Month: January 2018

Thunder Fall To Autumn Cup Finalists

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By Tom Hurley

Teenagers Rio Grinell-Parke and Josh Crane put in Man-of-the-Match performances over the weekend as Thunder fell twice to NIHL Autumn Cup finalists Swindon Wildcats.

With netminder Tom Annetts missing the weekend through injury, Saturday saw Crane get the start in a packed Swindon Link Centre as MKT tackled their second consecutive week of doubleheaders against former EPL teams.

Thunder came from behind twice in the first period Saturday after goals from Gareth O’Flaherty Tom Carlon saw the red and black cancel out the efforts of Swindon’s Aaron Nell and Chris Jones.

MKT completed a full turn around when Grinell-Parke gave Lewis Clifford’s men a 3-2 lead five minutes into the second period, only for Nell to hit back 11 seconds later.

Swindon then went onto score six more times before the second intermission, with Jones completing his hat trick along with goals from Luc Johnson, Phil Hill, Michael Power, and Edgars Brebis.

Michael Stratford’s first Thunder goal since his switch from Cardiff Fire late in the period saw Swindon lead 9-4 through 40 minutes. Sam Bullas struck early in the third for the game’s final 10-4 scoreline.

Sunday the teams played the second of the home-and-home series at Planet Ice, and it was the Wildcats who again struck first, this time through Hill on a power play in the 15th minute.

The 1-0 lead carried into 34th minute when two goals in 16 seconds from Hill and Power broke open a back-and-forth game and saw Swindon take a 3-0 advantage into the second period break.

Bullas made it 4-0 five minutes into the third period, before Stratford showed composure to beat Renny Marr and give the game it’s 4-1 final scoreline.

Thunder are back in action on Sunday, Feb. 11, when Invcita Dynamos visit Planet Ice for a 6:30pm NIHL South 1 game. Tickets are available from the arena box office priced at £9 Adults, £5 Concessions, £5 MK Lightning season ticket holders, and £1 Under 16s.

FINAL SCORE

Scoreboard

Team1st2nd3rdF
MK Thunder0011
Swindon Wildcats1214

FINAL SCORE

Scoreboard

Team1st2nd3rdF
Swindon Wildcats27110
MK Thunder2204

Thunder Set for Wildcat Weekend

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By Tom Hurley

Lewis Clifford and his MKT squad face a pair of games against Swindon Wildcats this weekend, starting with a 6:15pm clash at the Link Centre Saturday night before a 6:30pm contest Sunday at Planet Ice.

Swindon (13-3-3 NIHL) sit third in the standings after splitting a pair of games against second-place Basingstoke Bison last weekend.

The Wildcats are also flying high in cup competition, having reached the final of the Autumn Cup and semifinals of the National Cup, following two-legged victories over Peterborough Phantoms and London Raiders respectively.

Saturday will be the third meeting between MKT and Swindon this season, with the Cats needing a shootout to earn two points at The Link Centre in September before earning a regulation win in Milton Keynes earlier in early January.

Player-coach Aaron Nell sits fourth in NIHL South 1 with 36 points in 18 league games, while imports Max Birbraer and Jan Kostal both have 26 points in 19 league games.

Netminder Renny Marr places fourth in the league with a 91.63 save percentage, and MK Lightning two-way forward Luc Johnson has chipped in with nine points in 18 games on the season.

Thunder (7-10-6 NIHL) face a doubleheader against ex-EPL opposition for the second week in a row following last weekend’s home defeat to Peterborough before taking Bracknell Bees to overtime on the road Sunday.

Veteran forward Ross Bowers leads MKT with 20 points in 23 games, closely followed by captain Jamie Line who has 18 points in 23 outings.

Teenage attacker Rio Grinell-Parke tops the goal scoring charts with 12 on the season, and experienced duo Tom Carlon and Grant McPherson both have 12 points in the campaign.

Tickets for Sunday’s game at Planet ice are priced at only £9 Adults, £5 Concessions (Over 65s, Registered Disabled, Students, MK Lightning season ticket holders), and just £1 for Under 16s.

Doors open approximately one hour before the 6:30pm puck drop. For supporters looking for an added hockey fix, MK Storm Under 13s are in action immediately before Sunday’s home game, as they take on Haringey at 4:30 p.m.

Thunder Climb NIHL Table With Weekend Point

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By Tom Hurley

Thunder moved up to sixth in the NIHL South 1 standings after collecting one point from a doubleheader weekend against ex-EPL teams Peterborough Phantoms and Bracknell Bees.

New signing Michael Stratford made his debut in the red and black Saturday as Lewis Clifford’s men hosted Peterborough at Planet ice.

MKT took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission courtesy of Gareth O’Flaherty’s close-range effort after the puck found its way to the former Coventry Blaze man thanks to work from Tom Carlon and Tom Mboya.

Phantoms hit back early in the second period through import forward Ales Padelek, and the Czech marksman sent the visitors 2-1 up through 40 minutes by adding his second of the night with seven seconds remaining in the middle frame.

Padelek completed his hat trick three minutes into the third period, and was joined in the hat trick club by Glen Billing who made it the scoreline 6-1 by the game’s end with three straight goals — two of which came on the power play.

On Sunday Clifford’s men once again headed into the first intermission with a one-goal advantage, this time thanks to Grant McPherson’s power play marker in the opening three minutes at Bracknell.

Bees forward Shaun Thompson replied with a power play effort of his own in the 34th minute, but captain Jamie Line’s goal late in the frame saw Thunder take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission at The Hive.

Bracknell came back with another power play goal in the 46th minute when Callum Best converted, and despite opportunities for both teams in the closing minutes and overtime, the game was settled by penalty shots.

Daniel Milton stopped all three of MKT’s shootout attempts to give Bracknell the extra point, meaning Thunder travelled back to Milton Keynes with one point from the weekend’s two games.

MKT return to action this weekend with a pair of games against Swindon Wildcats. On Saturday Thunder travel to Wiltshire for a 6:15 face off at The Link Centre, before both teams head to Planet Ice on Sunday for a 6:30 p.m. contest. Tickets for Sunday’s home game are priced at £9 Adults, £5 Concessions, and £1 Under 16s.