In the summer of 2015 it was announced that the name Manchester Storm would be used for a new club playing out of the Altrincham Ice Dome. It was a move that led to much debate amongst fans … but it was also a move that reinvigorated interest in ice hockey in Greater Manchester. The media lapped it up .. and the team attracted growing support throughout the season.
The first competitive game for the new team was in Wales against the Cardiff Devils on September 5th 2015 … with some players having only arrived that week.
The biggest game of the year was on New Years Day 2016 when 1953 fans packed the rink to watch the Storm play Sheffield Steelers. Many games attracted over 1500 fans … and the team soon had a hard core of supporters travelling to away games across the UK.
Manchester Storm 2015 reworked the original artwork (*) and even used the old shirt design in the late 2015 “retro nights”. The team even engaged Mike Morin as an Assistant Coach, and Jon Hammond as match night announcer, to give the squad more continuity to the arena days.
The team played some of the fastest and most exciting hockey of any club in the League, but failed to convert that excitement into the points needed to make the playoffs. Storm finished in 9th place … 7 points away from the final play off berth.
It would have been a remarkable achievement if the new team could have made the playoffs… and in the history of the club it must be remembered that the Arena team failed to make the playoffs in its first season in the Superleague! There is one difference between then and now. In 1997 coach John Lawless was released by the Storm … in 2016 coach Omar Pacha will lead the team for the 2016/17 season.
(*) = The original logos of course were safely stored on this website !!