Phoenix face local rivals Sheffield Steeldogs, then home to Milton Keynes Lightning

Friday, 1st November 2013

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix make the short trip across the Pennines to take on the Sheffield Steeldogs in the English Premier League (face off 1930hrs) followed by a first visit of the Milton Keynes Lightning to the Dome on Sunday with the usual face off at 1730hrs.

The Steeldogs are having an up and down season but always raise their game against Phoenix. They will be boosted by the return of Greg Chambers and Lewis Bell from suspension which will allow Chambers to return to his more familiar forward role and Bell to the defence. Netminder Dalibor Sedlar, injured in the last meeting between the two sides, is reported to be near fitness and may return between the pipes.

Andre Payette’s side are always a physical match up for Phoenix and the league leaders will not be complacent even after their 11-2 drubbing of the Dogs last time they met.

Sunday’s home game will see Nick Poole’s MK Lightning visit for the first time this season. Despite having to play their home games at Coventry for the season while their home rink is re-furbished, they have made a steady start to the campaign and currently sit in fourth place in the league.

They have made a few changes to the roster for this season with Chris Wiggins, Kamil Tvrdek and Adam Calder gone, replaced by Stanislav Lascek, Tom Carlon and Nick Poole has registered himself as injury cover.

Top scorer for Lightning this season is new Slovakian import Stanislav Lascek with 9 goals and Brit Tom Carlon is only one goal behind. Michael Farn, a steady D man is having a good season from the blue line with 13 points. Lightning are well organised and games between the two teams are always entertaining.

Coach Hand spoke to Press Officer Jim Piper after Friday training:

“It is another tough weekend. As I say every week, they are all tough weekends in the EPL. We will, as always, look to take points from the weekend. We have had a good week of practice and we should have a full squad for the games. Andre will have his team ready and we are too. Nick Poole always has a competitive side and Sunday should be a good game.”

Come on down to the Dome and see the current league leaders, Manchester Phoenix, continue their quest for the league title.