Manchester Storm start season with double defeat to Nottingham Panthers

Luke Moffatt on the ice for Manchester Storm against Nottingham Panthers
Luke Moffatt on the ice for Manchester Storm against Nottingham Panthers

Manchester Storm started the new season off with back-to-back defeats in the Elite League, home and away to Nottingham Panthers.

Storm lost 2-1 away and then 4-1 at home in Altrincham.

More worrying for coach Ryan Finnerty is the growing injury list which includes leading players Mike Hammond (knee), Felix Antoine-Poulin (wrist), Chris Auger (shoulder) and Harrison Ruopp (groin).

Finnerty said, “ The injuries we have at the moment aren’t the type you can shake off in a week, they are longer term and our physios are working flat out to aid the players recovery.

“We only operate with a small squad and to lose 4 players at once takes its toll. Nottingham are a big side and our players put in a big effort on Saturday night but were shattered after the home on Sunday.

“I have been making some phone calls to players agents and am hoping to have at least one maybe two new signings for the weekend.

“If we bring players in from the USA or Canada we can only bring them in for 3 months at a time and the administration fees for visas runs into thousands of pounds.”

It’s a fast turnaround as Storm have two big games this weekend, away to Sheffield on Sunday and then at home to Glasgow on Sunday evening in Altrincham.

Glasgow will travel south with several players who left Storm at the end of last season including Matt Beca, Scott Pitt, Matt Stanisz and Gerard Hanson.

Glasgow have been completely revamped over the summer with a name change from Braehead and the appointment of GB Coach Peter Russell who left Milton Keynes to move north.

One thing that was pleasing at the opening fixture was the size of the crowd for the first game of the season.

Finnerty added: “Our season ticket numbers are up 30% and we also had a lot of new fans at the rink.

“We offer great Group-Packages for local sports clubs, both adults and children and if anyone is interested in booking in for a game can they contact

“Attracting bigger crowds will allow me to add numbers to the squad in the coming months.”