10 Reasons To Check Out The Storm This Pre-Season

PRE-SEASON: Tickets for our pre-season fixtures on Saturday 16th September and Wednesday 20th September are available online HERE, by calling 0161-926-8782 or in person at the Planet Ice Box Office!

There’s many reasons you should join us inside the ‘Storm Shelter‘ this month for our pre-season fixtures against Guildford Flames and Coventry Blaze but we’ve singled out 10 just to get the juices flowing ahead of the big return!

(1) Connor Leethe first professional contracted player out of the Storm academy! In a combined 36 junior games, Lee has 62 goals and 45 assists for a combined 107 points at 2.97 points per game – inclusive of 8 games in the u19’s division. This is Storm history in the making!

(2) Evan Weninger – the Canadian goaltender joins the club with 115 NCAA appearances for Nebraska-Omaha. In his professional career, Weninger has been named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team after posting a remarkable .923 SV% and 2.74 GAA. This was backed-up by an extremely impressive .925 SV% and 2.30 GAA in the Slovakian top-division for HC Banska Bystrica. 

(3) Veteran core – the franchise has more recently placed a significant emphasis on retaining its integral pieces from the previous campaigns. The returnees of Critchlow; Ehrhardt and Johnson undoubtedly stabilise the entire roster. This vastly experienced trio combine for 540 EIHL league appearances for the Storm. Head Coach Matt Ginn also stabilized the blueline further by securing the signatures of returnees Zach Sullivan and Chase Harrison. Can Critchlow and Johnson combine for a big points haul during the 23/24 season? 

(4) Santeri Haarala – the lighting fast Finnish forward could well be the jewel in the crown. In his first season as a European import, Haarala had 55 points (21G 34A) leading his club in points and placing him second overall within the entire league for total points. Will Santeri top the EIHL’s goalscoring charts in 23/24? 

(5) Callum Fryer – the man with the 97mph shot! The former Toronto Maple Leafs prospect camp attendee – Fryer will be firing rockets from the blueline in the Shelter. The current holder of the ECHL Hardest Shot competition, Fryer blitzed the competition with his 97 mph slapper. An ECHL All-Star, Fryer arrives with an excellent hockey pedigree after being the partner of William Lagesson in the NCAA for UMass in 2015. Will Callum open up his scoring account this month? 

(6) Bumper attendances – following a record-breaking season for attendances, come and see what you’ve been missing! The 22/23 season saw us break records for attendances, we saw the biggest and most consistent crowds we’ve seen since the club reformed in 2015. Not only did we see a huge increase in weekly attendance, ahead of the 23/24 season we have had a HUGE 40% take up in season tickets! Could this be the biggest and most successful season yet for the club? 

(7) Andreas Heier – the Norwegian import forward joins the Storm with a point to prove. The winger has 32 international appearances for his nation and several years of leadership experience. Heier was named as the club captain for his boyhood club – Stjernen and the role brought the best out him. In 102 matches, Heier had 36 goals and 39 assists – including topping the scoring charts within the Norwegian top-tier in 2020-21. 

(8) Dallas Ehrhardt – ‘Big Dal’ has once again chosen Manchester over a multitude of offers from throughout the hockey world. This is Ehrhardt’s eighth stint with the club; paired with his playing duties, Ehrhardt will continue in his role of player-assistant coach in the 2023/24 EIHL campaign. In a season that will see Dallas Ehrhardt become the outright all time appearance holder for the Manchester Storm organisation, the club have rewarded Dallas with a testimonial which will be a night to celebrate this achievement.

(9) New look squad – Head Coach Matt Ginn mentioned in a recent Q&A that he isn’t happy with just making the playoffs following our sixth placed finish and has his sights set on silverware here in Manchester. Retaining the core pieces from last season alongside adding experienced players such as C.J Garcia, Sam Tremblay, Loren Ulett, Johnny Corneil and Will Merchant and youthful, energetic players looking to make an impact such as Callum Fryer, Alex Odale, Tyler Hinam, Tommy Parran and Mitchell Martan – this could be a real recipe for success.

(10) Starting with a bang – Following a thrilling 2022/23 season which saw a sixth placed league finish and the securing of a playoff spot – let’s kick the 2023/24 season off in style! Join Head Coach Matt Ginn inside the ‘Storm Shelter‘ this pre-season and give the new squad a warm ‘Manc’ welcome as they prepare for another action packed Elite League season!

PRE-SEASON: Tickets for our pre-season fixtures on Saturday 16th September and Wednesday 20th September are available online HERE, by calling 0161-926-8782 or in person at the Planet Ice Box Office!