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PREVIEW: Storm @ Blaze (Pre-Season)

PRE-SEASON TICKETS: The Go Goodwin’s Manchester Storm are pleased to announce that tickets for our 2017 pre-season games against the Sheffield Steelers & Coventry Blaze are now available to purchase. Tickets can be ordered online by clicking here, by calling the box office on 0161 926 8782, or in person at the box office.

It’s been 143 days since the last game, but the wait is FINALLY over as your Go Goodwins sponsored Manchester Storm return to the ice this Wednesday to take on the Coventry Blaze away at the SkyDome. Face off for this exhibition game is at 7:30 pm.

Both teams have seen a number of changes over the off-season, with each coach retaining just a handful of players from last season’s squad. Two big departures for the Blaze were Russell Cowley and Ashley Tait, both Coventry stalwarts who had a combined total of 24 seasons at the SkyDome. Filling these skates is Luke Ferrara, the former GB U-20 international joins after 3 seasons at the Sheffield Steelers, while Ross Venus may also get an increased role with the side.

At the back, the sides should have some reliable netminding in the form of the returning Mike Clemente and Blaze’s new netminder Kevin Nastiuk. Clemente posted the third best save percentage in the Elite League last year, while Nastiuk joins after a successful career in the German DEL and DEL2 leagues. Charged with stopping the puck reaching Clemente are the returning Paul Swindlehurst and Dallas Ehrhardt, and new signings Declan Balmer, Nate Fleming, Linden Springer, Matt Stanisz, and Ryan Trenz. This set of defencemen combine for an average height of 186.7 cm (6’1”), over 4 cm taller than the average Blaze defenceman. Kevin Noble and David Clements return on the blueline for the Blaze, alongside the incoming Dax Lauwers, Gaelan Patterson, and Gustav Ahnelov. Youngsters Jordan Stokes and Oliver Stone are both on 2-way contracts with local NIHL sides, while Danny Stewart still has 1 slot left to fill. Expect Patterson and Ahnelov to provide the offence from the back for the Blaze, while Stanisz and Trenz should be good on the transition for the Storm

In Ryan Dingle and Matt Beca, both teams have secured two of the top points scorers in the EIHL from last season. Dingle is joined by former DEL star Adam Courchaine, a small centre with an eye for goal, Marc-Olivier Vallerand, who spent last season in the EBEL, and Garrett Ladd, Ben Lake, and Danick Paquette who all moved to the Blaze from the ECHL. Brett Robinson and Jordan Pietrus are back for another season, while Edgars Bebris, signed on a try-out contract, rounds out the Blaze roster. In Jay Rosehill, Shane Bakker, and Dane Byers, Storm have a lot of size up front, while Chris Auger, Mike Hammond, Luke Moffatt, Ciaran Long, and the aforementioned Beca all have an eye for goal. Gerard Hanson and the returning playmaker Matt Bissonnette conclude the Storm forward lines.

Last year saw the Blaze have the upper-hand over the Storm in the regular season, winning all 4 games between the sides, although the Storm pipped the Blaze to the final playoff spot. The sides will be seeing a lot of each other this season in the new Patton conference, along with new sides MK Lightning and Guildford Flames. For those Storm fans not making the trip, the game is also being webcast on www.cleancutlive.com.

One to watch: Ryan Dingle is a name familiar to most Storm fans, he scored 31 goals for the Fife Flyers last season in just 41 games.

MATCH DETAILS:

  • Game at Planet Ice Coventry SkyDome: Croft Road, Coventry, CV1 3AZ
  • Storm fans should purchase tickets in Block 7
  • Doors open from 6:30pm
  • Face-off at 7:30pm
  • Live Twitter updates from the game will be via StormLive
  • Live stream via BlazeTV – £8.95
  • Storm will be in their WHITE away shirts

PRE-SEASON TICKETS: The Go Goodwin’s Manchester Storm are pleased to announce that tickets for our 2017 pre-season games against the Sheffield Steelers & Coventry Blaze are now available to purchase. Tickets can be ordered online by clicking here, by calling the box office on 0161 926 8782, or in person at the box office.