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.