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Thunder unable to stage home match

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Romford Raiders will host MK Thunder in a one-off match in the ENL play-offs this weekend.

Thunder have been unable to secure ice time to stage the home leg of the quarter-final clash and the English Ice Hockey Association have ruled the unplayed match a 0-0 draw.

League champions Romford will welcome their rivals to Rom Valley Way on Sunday (5.15pm) for the right to progress to the last four and team manager Mick Cahill said: “MK’s EPL team have a home play-off game against Slough on Saturday night, but we all hoped some earlier junior games could be rescheduled so we could face-off on Saturday afternoon.

“It seems that’s impossible so unfortunately, through no fault of their own, Thunder won’t be able to play their home leg.

“It actually puts a bit of pressure on the Raiders because it makes Sunday’s game a winner-takes-all affair.

“With all due respect to MKL, we expected to take a first-leg lead into Rom Valley Way, but this means that we can’t afford to relax at all — and that’s as it should be I guess.

“The formbook goes out of the window in play-off hockey so we need to be sure we’re ready right from the start. Thunder have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Raiders won all four meetings between the two sides during the regular season by an aggregate score of 33-4.

They clinched their first title in 15 years with a 5-2 win over the Isle of Wight on Sunday, thanks to two goals from Juraj Huska and others from Shaun Yardley, player-coach Danny Marshall and Billy Phillips.

And, having already lifted the South East Trophy, Marshall’s men are hoping to complete a treble with the play-off championship.

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