The Patton Conference

The Elite League decided that a new conference was in order to accommodate the new arrivals of MK Lightning and the Guildford Flames; both whom are making the jump up from the English Premier League. Alongside them in the conference are familiar faces in the Coventry Blaze and the Manchester Storm who both endured disappointing 2016/17 campaigns. All four teams will have a point to prove, whether that’s establishing themselves in a new league or bouncing back after a poor season. One thing is for sure; the combination should make for an enticing affair.

As stated on the Elite League website, the conference “is named after IIHF and British Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Major Bethune Minet “Peter” Patton, who is credited with bringing ice hockey to the United Kingdom and helping it spread across Europe.” Below are the profiles of each four teams with two interviews with fans of the leagues newbies to provide insight into what we can expect from them.

Team Name: MK Lightning

Lightning

Founded: 2002

Arena: Planet Ice MK

Coach: Pete Russell

 

2016/17 Results:

League: 2nd (English Premier League)

EPL Cup: Winners

Play-off: Winners

 

Scoring Leaders:

Goals: Lewis Hook (31)

Assists: Jordan Cownie (33)

Overall:  Lewis Hook (54)

 

*2017/18 Roster:

Netminders Defence Forwards
# 1 Jordan Hedley

#90 Przemyslaw Odrobny

#20 Miika Wiikman

# 5 Edward Knaggs

#15 James Griffin

#50 Matt Nickerson

#23 Kevin Gibson

# 2 Carl Hudson

#42 Paul Phillips

#24 Quin Pompi

#11 Lewis Hook

#14 Luc Johnson

#72 Glenn Billing

#12 Guillaume Doucet

#25 Kevin King

#19 Kyle Essery

#89 Jonathan Boxill

#14 Alex Forbes

#16 Ben Foster

#26 Christian Isackson

#45 Ludwig Karlsson

#22 Denny Kearney

#78 Francis Verreault-Paul

#17 Ashley Tait

 

Players In Players Out
Guillaume Doucet

Kevin King

Kyle Essery

Matt Nickerson

Ludwig Karlsson

Denny Kearney

Carl Hudson

Jonathan Boxill

Paul Phillips

Francis Verreault-Paul

Ben Foster

Christian Isackson

Quin Pompi

Alex Forbes

Kevin Gibson

Miika Wiikman

Ashley Tait

Blaz Emersic

Mikolaj Lopuski

Jordan Cownie

Craig Scott

Anti Hölli

Tom Carlon

Michael Farn

Adam Carr

Edward Knaggs

Glen Billing

Luc Johnson

Bobby Chamberlain

Leigh Jamieson

Frantisek Bakrlik

James Neil

Milan Baranyk

Lewish Christie

*As of 14/09/17

 

Fans opinion (with @JackThompson7)

Welcome to the Elite League! What can other teams expect from you?

I think I speak on behalf of all Lightning fans when I say how welcome we’ve felt coming into this new league so thanks! You’ll see a team which reflects the values of the club as a whole; hard working. Most of our play is known for our forecheck which has gone onto a new level under Pete Russell. We’re quite a slick, tic-tac-toe team when it comes together and we’re not afraid to rough it up with the likes of Nickerson.

What do you make of your recruitments so far? Are there any key players we should look out for?

Kevin King, he reminds me a bit of Adam Calder because of the way he plays the game. He puts himself into positions where he can snipe at the net plus he’s our captain and has led from the front in preseason. Wiikman and Odrobny are two massive netminders which will provide Pete Russell with a BIG decision to make. Wiikman looks to be everything Panthers fan have said he was; one of the best in the league. The way he gets about his crease is phenomenal.

It may be unfair to class him as a ‘key player’ in his debut season at this level but I’m so excited to see how Lewis Hook develops. He was one of, if not the highest scoring EPL British players last year and has the speed and physicality to do it at this level too. For such a young talent things are only going to improve for him.

Kearney has also impressed in pre-season, he’s a puck carrier and quite a speedy, slick player which suits our style of play. Overall I’ve been left quite optimistic after pre-season but I’m sure this weekend will probably bring me back down to earth.

Lastly, will you be cheering your fellow EPL competitors Guildford when they take on other teams?

Well, there was an infamous chant created by our fans at the EPL Playoff weekend saying ‘Anyone but Guildford.’ I’d like to see them do well but obviously not better than us!

 

Team Name: Guildford FlamesFlames

Founded: 1992

Arena: Guildford Spectrum

Coach: Paul Dixon

 

2016/17 Results:

League: 5th (English Premier League)

EPL Cup: 7th

Play-off: Semi final

 

Scoring Leaders:

Goals: Ben Campbell (39)

Assists: Jens Eriksson (48)

Overall: Ben Campbell (76)

 

*2017/18 Roster:

Netminders Defence Forwards
#41 Brian Stewart

#33 Mike Will

# 1 Samuel Calder

# 7 Kevin Phillips

#20 Tomas Nechala

#82 Jez Lundin

# 8 Calle Ackered

# 4 Brennan Yadlowski

#44 Jesse Craige

# 2 Adam Jones

#61 Sam Godfrey

# 5 Ben Davies

#27 Ian Watters

#48 Ben Campbell

#57 Liam Stewart

#79 David Lillieström Karlsson

#91 Andy McKinney

#90 John Dunbar

#40 Rhett Rachinski

#14 Charles Wells

#21 Mikael Lidhammer

#51 Kruise Reddick

#18 Brett Ferguson

 

Players In Players Out
Ben Davies

Tomas Nechala

Ian Watters

Brian Stewart

David Lilliestrom Karlsson

Carl Ackered

Liam Stewart

John Dunbar

Brennan Yadlowski

Rhett Rachinski

Jesse Craige

Charles Wells

Mikael Lidhammar

Adam Jones

Kruise Reddick

Brett Ferguson

Daniel Meyers

Marek Maslonka

Jared Lane

Dean Skinns

Matic Kralj

Kari Sihvonen

*As of 14/09/17

 

Fans opinion (with @totewall)

What makes Guildford different to other EIHL teams?

The way the club puts a squad together. All of our guys are young and fast instead of being predominantly physical; the lack of emphasis on a ‘big tough guy’ is different to what the rest of the league have chosen. Majority of enforcers in the EIHL are imports and the coach has sacrificed that position for skill and speed.

You didn’t enjoy the best season last year in the EPL, where do you need to improve?

Defensively for sure. Bar the exception of one or two players we were very leaky at the back. We also need a 30+ goals player.

Have you been impressed by your recruitment so far? Does anyone in particular stand out?

Was apprehensive at first as the majority of the team are under 6 foot, however I’ve found positives in the Flames signing five guys who’ve played Canadian university hockey together. Standouts are #44 Jesse Craige and #79 David Lilliestrom Karlsson.

If you could sign one player from another team who would it be?

Ben O’Connor from Sheffield for his offensive qualities and all round abilities as a defenseman, not to mention him being a mainstay in the GB team. The Flames are calling out for a decent British ‘over 23’ D man.

 

Team Name: Coventry Blaze Blaze

Founded: 2000

Arena: SkyDome Arena

Coach: Danny Stewart

 

2016/17 Results:

League: 9th

Cup: Group Stage

Play-off: Didn’t qualify

 

Scoring Leaders:

Goals: Robin Bergman (17)

Assists: Brett Robinson (33)

Overall: Brett Robinson (44)

 

*2017/18 Roster:

Netminders Defence Forwards
#30 Renny Marr

#52 Kevin Nastiuk

#37 Brython Preece

#18 Gustav Ahnelöv

#58 David Clements

#45 Vojtech Kloz

# 7 Dax Lauwers

#56 Kevin Noble

# 8 Gaelen Patterson

# 5 Jordan Stokes

# 4 Oliver Stone

#71 Edgars Bebris

#41 Adam Courchaine

#19 Ryan Dingle

#29 Luke Ferrara

#13 Garrett Ladd

#09 Ben Lake

#47 Danick Paquette

#16 Jordan Pietrus

#23 Brett Robinson

#88 Marc-Olivier Vallerand

#59 Ross Venus

 

Players In Players Out
Ryan Dingle

Luke Ferrara

Dax Lauwers

Danick Paquette

Ben Lake

Oliver Stone

Kevin Nastiuk

Gaelen Patterson

Brython Preece

Garrett Ladd

Marc-Olivier Vallerand

Adam Courchaine

Gustav Ahnelöv

Edgars Bebris

Vojtech Kloz

Russel Cowley

Josh Godfrey

Ben Davies

Marc Cantin

Garrett Klotz

Robin Bergman

Renny Marr

Matt Marquardt

Brian Stewart

Shawn Boutin

T.J. Syner

Barry Almeida

Liam Stewart

Jim Jorgensen

Ashley Tait

*As of 14/09/17

 

Team Name: Manchester Storm Storm

Founded: 2015

Arena: SilverBlades Ice Rink Altrincham

Coach: Ryan Finnerty

 

2016/17 Results:

League: 8th

Cup: Quarter-final

Play-off: Quarter-final

 

Scoring Leaders:

Goals: Darian Dziurzynski (29)

Assists:                 Matt Bissonnette (31)

Overall: Darian Dziurzynski (52)

 

*2017/18 Roster:

Netminders Defence Forwards
#40 Mike Clemente

#31 Declan Ryan

#35 Ashley Smith

#94 Declan Balmer

#10 Dallas Ehrhardt

#67 Nate Fleming

#27 Linden Springer

#58 Matt Stanisz

#23 Paul Swindlehurst

# 5 Ryan Trenz

#61 Chris Auger

#79 Shane Bakker

#26 Matt Beca

#73 Matt Bisonnette

#34 Dane Byers

#21 Mike Hammond

#19 Gerard Hanson

#89 Ciaran Long

# 9 Luke Moffatt

#37 Jay Rosehill

 

Players In Players Out
Jay Rosehill

Dane Byers

Luke Moffatt

Declan Balmer

Ciaran Long

Ashley Smith

Mike Hammond

Ryan Trenz

Gerard Hanson

Matt Beca

Chris Auger

Shane Bakker

Declan Ryan

Matt Stanisz

Linden Springer

Nate Fleming

Mark Heatley

Adam Harding

Taylor Dickin

Mario Valery-Trabucco

Paul Phillips

Jack Prince

Connor Varley

Eric Neilson

Cody Cartier

Darian Dziurzynski

*As of 14/09/17

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s