IF it's thrills, spills and the sort of rough stuff which makes Dennis Wise and Patrick Vieira look like two schoolchildren playing pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker's man, then ice hockey is the sport for you.

Separated from Greenwich and Lewisham by a few hundred yards of water and a couple of stops on the Docklands Light Railway line, is the London Arena home to the London Knights.

The Knights, who began their new 56-match Sekonda Superleague season with a 9-3 away win to the Belfast Giants last Saturday, commence their home programme tomorrow (Thursday) night against the same opponents.

And the Knights already have a piece of silverware in the trophy cabinet after winning the pre-season BT Together Ice Cup in Belfast a four-sided cup tournament, also involving Belfast, plus Knight's sister club Eisbaeren Berlin and Frankfurt Lions.

A 4-2 win over the Lions, one of the elite sides in the German league, when Mike Ware (twice) Mark Kolesar and Kim Ahlroos were on the target, was followed by a thrilling game against the host club.

Goals by Steve Thornton and Henrick Borner gave the Knights a two-goal advantage before Belfast rallied to level, only for Paul Rushforth to net Knights' winner.

There was an equally exciting game when the Knights played their sister club Eisbaeren Berlin. Vezio Sacratini, Mike Barrie and Maurizio Mansi put Knights three-up. before the Germans pulled two goals back.

But Ian McIntyre settled the nerves, and the match, with a match-clinching fourth goal.

Knights' new head coach Bob Leslie, one of numerous new personnel who have joined during the close season, said: “I was really pleased with the team's commitment

“We beat two sides from a league which is much stronger than ours and that is very encouraging.

“All the guys worked their tails off and they are proud of their first taste of victory with the Knights.

“The fans were great and I know they are proud too. The team really appreciated the support it received.”

But what about Knights' prospects for the arduous league season.

Leslie added: “I'm very excited about this season because our team is very fast and immensely skilled.

“We have played in several pre-season games and we are a solid, hard working unit which is determined to win.

“There are some strong sides in the Superleague this season. We have played Belfast twice already, one in the Ice Cup, and they are an exciting-looking side.

“They are going to be challenging, while Manchester have recruited well and look to have a pretty formidable team, while you always have to respect any side that Sheffield puts on the ice.

“But we are looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“The plan is simple: to take each game as it comes, keep working hard and try to stay injury-free.

“If we can do that, I'm sure we can win more silverware.”

Leslie added: “Only goaltender Trevor Robins, defenceman Ritchie Bronilla and forwards Mark Kolesar Paul Rushforth, who is also the club's assistant coach, have been retained from last season.

“But the new guys we have brought in are all highly-skilled and are sure to make their presence felt.

Value-for-money ticket deals on offer

There are a range of tickets options for the Knights' home games, ranging from single-match seats priced at: club £18; adult £12, concessions and children aged 13 and under £7, and a family ticket (1 adult and 3 children or 2 adults and 2 children), which costs £30, to special group, flexi-pack and season-ticket deals, as well as corporate/VIP hospitality.

There are considerabale fringe benefits to thoese making season, group and flexi bookings.

Documentary proof of age/student identity is required for concession/child season tickets, and children must be accompanied by an adult.

For single match tickets, call 020 87538 1212 and for group, season and flexi-pack deals, call 020 7536 2626