Mike Will returns as part of Flames netminding pair
After taking over as the starter in the back stretch of last season, netminder Mike Will, a veteran of 6 Elite League campaigns, returns to the Flames for their first foray into the top flight. The 6’4”, 190lb Lewes born puck stopper iced 1220 minutes in Flames colours while posting a 2.80 goals against average and a 90.3 save percentage across all competitions. His best contribution to that run was a 7 game playoff set when he posted a 5 win, 1 loss and 1 penalty defeat record with a 2.28 goals against average and a 92% save rate in helping the Flames to the Final 4 weekend.
Will, 29, joined the side after a pair of seasons with Cardiff Devils and another 4 ahead of that at Braehead Clan. In 5 games with Devils in 2015-2016 Will iced 155 minutes to record a 3 win and 0 loss record with a 5.81 goals against average and an 83.3 save percentage. In 9 tries the season prior, when they banked the Challenge Cup, the former Slough Jet averaged 3.20 goals against and held a 90.0 save percentage.
“I’m really excited for the up and coming season to start,” said Will. “Moving back into the Elite League will be a lot of fun and it’s an awesome opportunity doing it with the Flames organisation.”
After an early taste of EPIHL hockey with the Jets, and a handful of English National League starts with Slough Harrier Hawks, Will’s development path took him to Canada where he spent the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 campaigns with Bradford Rattlers Junior Hockey club. He moved on to college in America for the following pair of terms at NCAA Division III outfit Morrisville State ahead of a return to the UK where he signed on in 2010-2011 for his 1st of 4 seasons with the Scottish based Clan.
“If there had been an award for patience last season, Mike would have been the winner hands down,” said Paul Dixon. “Every day he came to the rink and just kept working while waiting for a chance, which by no means presented itself quickly.”
“We iced 4 netminders last season at one stage or another, and Mike took full advantage of his opportunity when he finally got the nod.”
“He was a big part of helping us to the top spot in the Playoff group round, and we are glad he has agreed to bring his Elite league experience for our venture up to that level.”