Coventry Blaze duo David Clements and Ross Venus will ice for the Milton Keynes Lightning during the National Ice Hockey League’s (NIHL) Streaming Series. Milton Keynes are set to compete against NIHL rivals Swindon Wildcats and Sheffield Steeldogs later this month, with each club adding players to their roster in the build-up to the tournament.
Clements, 26, returns to Milton Keynes for the first time in five seasons, having last played for the organisation in the now-disbanded English Premier Ice Hockey League. The English defenceman made 23 appearances for Milton Keynes in 2015/16, registering eight points from the blueline.
Clements made 39 appearances for the Blaze last season, contributing six points en route to Coventry’s third-place finish in the Elite League. During his five seasons at the Skydome Arena, Clements has made 245 appearances for the Blaze, becoming a reliable figure under Danny Stewart’s stewardship.
Lightning head coach Lewis Clifford said: “Clemo [Clements] knows a large quantity of the boys from playing here previously and his Coventry and GB connections so there shouldn’t be any teething problems.”
Clements, who will wear #58 during the Streaming Series, took to social media to write: “Excited to be with the Lightning again! Get your tickets people!”
The Lightning’s opening game of the Streaming Series will be the first time since 2012 that Venus, 26, has appeared for another British club. Venus, a 10-year Elite League veteran, has made 496 appearances for the Blaze and was awarded a testimonial last season.
The left-shot forward was recalled to Pete Russell’s national team roster after racking-up a career-best 37 points last term.
“Ross [Venus] is a great player who can play in all situations,” Clifford said in a club statement. “He comes highly recommended but some of our players and having seen him skate last night I’m sure he will fit straight into our roster and be a welcome addition.
“Whilst our roster will look a little different to how we expected, we will be ready to go next Saturday and hopefully able to put on a great show for all the people who are watching us on the stream.”
Since the start of the month, the Lightning has also confirmed the signings of Belfast Giants forward Lewis Hook. The Peterborough Phantoms youth product made 48 appearances for the Giants last term and returns to Milton Keynes after last featuring for the club in 2018. Lightning defenceman Ben Russell has also agreed to return to the club.
Milton Keynes begin their campaign on Saturday 14 November with a trip to Swindon, before hosting the Wildcats at Planet Ice MK a week later. The Lightning face will face the Sheffield Steeldogs in back-to-back fixtures on 28 and 29 November.