MILTON KEYNES THUNDER – MATCH PREVIEW

MILTON KEYNES THUNDER – MATCH PREVIEW

The Peterborough DALROD Phantoms begin their pre-season campaign against the Milton Keynes Thunder on Wednesday evening (4thSeptember) in a 7:45 pm face-off. 

Antti Kohvakka’s MK Thunder will provide Slava Koulikov’s Phantoms side with their first test of the pre-season. The NIHL1 side have played one game so far, a 10-4 loss to the Solihull Barons. Former Phantoms prospect Alex Whyte scored once, with Luke Curtis and Ryan Gadeke (2) scoring the other Thunder goals. 

TEAM NEWS 

Phantoms Head Coach, Slava Koulikov, has a full complement of players available to him for the first game of the pre-season, but may choose to manage his team selection with four more pre-season games coming up after the Thunder fixture. 

Conor Pollard will feature for the first time since making the full time step up from Phantoms 2, whilst Ross Clarke will also get ice time after becoming the latest prospect to step up from the Phantoms Academy. 

MK Thunder have a much-changed side compared to last season, with many of their main names leaving the club. Import forward Tomas Rubes moved up north to sign for the Billingham Stars, whilst Jordan Lawday, Rio Grinnell-Parke, Ross Green, Grant McPherson and Hallden Barnes-Garner all made the step up to the Milton Keynes Lightning. 

They have retained three players from last season’s roster: James Lindley, Logan Prince and Alex Whyte. Whyte has been named as the new Thunder captain by coach Kohvakka. Thunder have three former Phantoms prospects in their side: Callum Medcalf, Samuel Dean and Whyte. 

COACH KOULIKOV SAYS

It was a long break and we know the guys will be rusty. It’s our first game back together so we just need to get used to the systems and playing competitively again. We’re expecting to have a lot of puck possession, so we’ll be telling the guys to just manage the puck and make the right decisions on the puck. The guys have had a long time off so we need to manage the team as best we can and make smart decisions on the puck. That’s the main thing we will be focussing on.”

THE AWAY BENCH

Antti Kohvakka is a well-known name to Peterborough hockey, having played 165 regular season games for the club between 2003-2008. During his five and a half years with the Phantoms, the Finnish native scored 165 points and collected 483 penalty minutes. 

He moved on to the Coventry Blaze ENL/NIHL team for the remainder of his career and was their assistant coach for six years. Thunder is his first Head Coach role, and many of his signings have been from the Blaze NIHL team he departed himself in the summer. 

TICKET NEWS

Tickets for the match are priced at just £5 for adults and £1 for under 16’s. Tickets can be bought HERE, or from the Planet Ice Box Office, upon arrival to the rink.