Highlights: MK Thunder vs Cardiff Fire


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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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