Below-par Raiders hit for six; Lions stunned
PUBLISHED: 09:24 09 March 2015 | UPDATED: 09:24 09 March 2015
National League: Invicta 6 London Raiders 2
London Raiders were left empty-handed after defeat against second-placed Dynamos last night.
They arrived in Gillingham in confident mood after a blank weekend and took an early lead when Jakub Kostlansky rifled a bullet of a shot past Mark McGill in the Invicta net.
But Dynamos were back on terms soon after as Michal Oravec converted on a powerplay, with Stevie Dunnage serving a hooking minor.
Chris Douglas denied the home side for the rest of the opening period, as Dynamos dominated the shot count 16-10.
But Raiders, who were without Alan Lack due to work commitments, fell behind just before the midway mark as Nicky Lewis found the back of the net.
And it was 3-1 when another ex-Raider Juraj Huska netted a highly controversial goal.
The Slovakian’s close-range shot flew over the right shoulder of Douglas and bounced back out, but play continued for over a minute before referee Phil O’Neill called it back and awarded a goal after consulting with his fellow official.
Raiders were incensed by the decision, but were given a powerplay chance when Elliott Dewey was called for hooking.
It proved a false dawn, though, as Callum Fowler and Lewis netted shorthanded goals just 43 seconds apart to put Dynamos 5-1 up.
The gloves came off early in the final period as Grant Baxter took umbrage to Ross Wilkinson’s hit on Jack Lee, which earned the Raider an extra two minutes.
Invicta could not convert on the powerplay and then lost Huska on an interference call, before he was joined in the box soon after by Grant Taylor for holding.
Jacob Ranson scored during the spell of 4-on-4, pouncing on a loose puck and lifting a neat backhand shot into the roof of the net.
But Dynamos had the final say with just one second left on the clock as O’Neill awarded a penalty shot, which Huska converted.
Scorers, Invicta: Huska* 2+1 Lewis 2 Fowler 1+2 Oravec* 1+1 Beerling 0+2 McNicoll 0+1 Smith 0+1 Strawson 0+1.
Raiders: Kostelansky* 1+1 Ranson 1 Cooper 0+1 France 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Invicta 12 Raiders 16.
Shots on goal: McGill (Dynamos) 32 Douglas (Raiders) 42.
Lee Valley Lions slipped to a pair of contrasting defeats in Division Two.
Joe Berry and Theo Abban cancelled out table-topping Slough’s early 2-0 lead on Saturday, before the home side regained the lead through Conor Redmond.
Ben Ealey-Newman made it 4-2 in the second period, but James Hepburn hit back for Lions to keep them in the hunt.
Luke Martin-Digby made it 5-3, though, before the break and Liam Underdown sealed the points with a late sixth.
Lions were back on home ice the following night to welcome Chelmsford Warriors, but slumped to a 12-2 loss.
Oliver Baldock put the visitors ahead after 66 seconds, but Nick Alley levelled in the seventh minute.
Ryan Morgan restored Chelmsford’s lead before the first break and further goals from Ellis Swainsbury, Brandon Ayliffe, Baldock, Taylor Ross, Jake Sylvester (2), and Ayliffe again made it 9-1 with five minutes left.
Mark Robinson replied with a powerplay goal for the hosts, but Sylvester completed his hat-trick to take Warriors into double figures and Swainsbury and Courtney Grant completed the tally.