By Tom Hurley
Milton Keynes ice hockey stalwart Ross Bowers plays his 600th career game in MK colours on Saturday night when Thunder host Streatham IHC in a 7 p.m. face off at Planet Ice.
MK Storm graduate Bowers will be honoured in a pre-game ceremony ahead of the contest, which will see former MK Lightning captain Adam Carr and teammate Michael Farn make their return to Planet Ice in visiting uniforms.
“I feel really blessed,” Bowers said. “We’ve got a couple of great clubs here in Milton Keynes and it will be nice to see some more kids coming through the junior development.”
Potential Thunder stars of the future will be able to see Bowers and his teammates in action for no charge Saturday night after GM Dave Fairhurst’s announcement that all Storm players can now gain free entry to this MKT fixture.
Streatham (1-7-0 NIHL) enter the game in search of their second league win of the season following seven straight defeats since a 9-2 win over Cardiff Fire on opening night.
The RedHawks came close to claiming that second victory on Sunday when they took a 3-0 lead over Basingstoke Bison before ultimately falling 4-3 on home ice.
The South Londoners have faired better in the NIHL Cup, picking up three wins over London Raiders in addition to last Saturday’s 5-2 win at Invicta Dynamos.
“Last weekend was probably our best performance over two games we have had all season,” Carr said in his weekly column. “It was very frustrating to only come away with two points.”
The Durham-born frontman – who won eight trophies during 14 seasons in Milton Keynes – is tied with Farn and ex-Basingstoke, Slough and Bracknell forward Ryan Watt for a team-high eight points.
Saturday will be Carr’s first time in the Planet Ice visiting locker room since icing with Wightlink Raiders as a teenager.
“We are desperate to get two points from them,” Carr said of Lewis Clifford’s men.
Thunder (3-4-2 NIHL) will be lining up without Connor Hutchison and Luke Reynolds on Saturday night following the duo’s departure after a 2-1 overtime loss to Invicta on October 15.
Captain Jamie Line tops the MKT scoring charts with 11 points, closely followed by Bowers with 10 and Grinell-Parke on eight.
Tickets for Saturday night’s clash are priced at £9 Adults, £5 MKL season ticket holders, £1 Under 16s, and free entry for MK Storm players.