SEASON TICKETS: The Go Goodwin’s Coaches sponsored Manchester Storm are pleased to announce that season tickets for the 2016/17 Elite Ice Hockey League season are now available to purchase. Season Tickets can be ordered online or by calling the box office on 0161 926 8782, or in person at the box office.
3pm on June 24th 2015 – a moment that will forever be etched in the minds of British hockey fans. The Manchester Storm had returned.
Following the breaking story earlier in the day that the Hull Stingrays were no more, a press release was scheduled by the Elite League for 3pm later that day. Most assumed it was to confirm that the Stingrays had left the league and next season would be run with 9 teams instead of 10.
At 3pm the news broke:
— EIHL (@officialEIHL) June 24, 2015
To the delight of many, Mark Johnson & Mike Petrouis, owners of Silver Blades, had been approached by the Elite League a week prior, to fill the void the Hull Stingrays would make, and run an EIHL team out of the Altrincham ice rink. After a day of deliberating on the name, the decision was made, the name… was the Manchester Storm!
— Manchester Storm (@Mcr_Storm) June 24, 2015
Mark, who painted the original centre ice logo of the Storm at the Manchester Arena, said at the time: “These are exciting times for ice hockey in the Manchester area and when we were approached by the EIHL to join the league, we pulled out all the stops to make it happen.” He wasn’t wrong. Within 12 hours, the Storm were trending on Twitter and were the talk of the town.
With the club officially back, the long process of building the club from nothing began. Head Coach, Omar Pacha, being brought in as the first Coach of the club in 13 years.
With the on ice team building nicely, the efforts of Mark and his staff were to find a General Manager for the team. After talking to many key hockey people around the league, one name kept being mentioned. Neil Russell, was approached by the club and not long after, was appointed the General Manager of the Storm.
Within weeks, the fan base began to grow and grow. The Forecast, a podcast by BBC presenter Clare Freeman, and other fan pages began to pop up. All eyes were fixed on the the first pre-season game, a match-up against old ISL rivals, the Nottingham Panthers. However, Neil Russell had one further surprise up his sleeve… as Jon Hammond, the Voice of the Puck, returned to the Storm as the Match Night announcer, along with his right hand man: LIGHTNING JACK!
Opening night finally arrived, and the fans flocked to the Altrincham Ice Rink, rechristened the Storm Shelter, for the first Storm match in 13 years. The game started the worst way possible, with the Panthers taking an early lead…
… but the Storm, who were still missing numerous members of their squad, fought back and won on penalty shots!
Neil Russell had the following to say about the Storms fantastic first season:
“What a whirlwind past 12 months for everyone connected with the Storm! There are literally too many people to thank, but special mentions go to Mark & Mike, the incredible rink staff for all their help & support, our volunteers, and of course all of our incredible fans. To see the way the club grew and continues to do so has been awesome and has been down to a lot of hard graft, but most importantly to you, the fans, for choosing the Storm as your team to follow. I cannot wait to see what the next 12 months brings……one thing i am certain of is that the Manchester Storm will continue to go from strength to strength”.
It certainly has been a year to remember for the fans of the Manchester Storm, and the best is yet to come!