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London Raiders defeated by Dynamos

PUBLISHED: 08:29 23 January 2017 | UPDATED: 08:29 23 January 2017

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley scored a goal but also picked up a game misconduct penalty against Invicta (pic John Scott)

London Raiders forward JJ Pitchley scored a goal but also picked up a game misconduct penalty against Invicta (pic John Scott)

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Invicta Dynamos 3 London Raiders 2

London Raiders were left empty-handed after conceding a late powerplay winner to National League rivals Invicta in Gillingham last night.

The visitors looked to have secured a point when Marek Nahlik netted with just over seven minutes left to play, but a bench minor penalty for having too many men on the ice proved their undoing.

Adam Rehak smashed home an unstoppable shot as Invicta enjoyed the man advantage and it proved decisive as Dynamos claimed their fourth win in five meetings between the sides this season.

Raiders handed a debut to young defenceman Callum Burnett but were behind inside four minutes as Steve Osman redirected Arran Strawson’s shot past Euan King on an early powerplay.

Raiders were given a chance to hit back soon after when Strawson was binned for holding Slavomir Buda and Alan Lack was denied by John Dibble on the powerplay, before King thwarted Rehak and Nahlik was called for hooking.

King saved from Osman and, after Jack Cooper was binned for tripping, also kicked away Ondrej Zosiak’s shot and held Rehak’s blast.

And Raiders failed to capitalise on another powerplay as Dibble held Nahlik’s backhand shot, before King’s glove save prevented Rehak from doubling Invicta’s lead.

JJ Pitchley pounced on a loose puck, but saw Dibble block his effort, as the first period ended with the hosts 1-0 up.

And the two goalies dominated the middle period action, as the scoreline remained unchanged at the 40-minute mark.

Nahlik blazed a good chance over for Raiders, while Rehak fired into King’s mask before Dibble blocked out Nahlik at the near post on a Raiders powerplay.

Lack and Rehak clashed briefly and picked up four minutes in penalties each, but Buda could not convert Thomas Beesley’s pass and King kept out Bailey Wootton late in the session.

Dibble denied Tom Davis and Pitchley at the start of the final frame, before Elliot Dewey was binned for hooking.

But King had to be alert to deny Osman on a breakaway and Bailey Wootton’s follow-up attempt, before Dibble’s double save frustrated Nahlik at the other end.

Raiders were back on terms in the 44th minute, though, as Pitchley smashed the puck home from close range, assisted by Lack and Buda, and they almost took the lead soon after as Nahlik’s effort was cleared off the line by Zosiak.

King kept out Strawson, while Dibble thwarted Pitchley and Buda, before Dynamos regained the lead with nine minutes left as Wootton forced a rebound home when Rehak’s original shot was saved.

Invicta’s joy was shortlived as Raiders levelled matter less than 90 seconds later, with Nahlik forcing the puck home in a goalmouth scramble, but the visitors were then caught with too many men on the ice and Dynamos made them pay.

Lack might have made it 3-3, but Dibble blocked him out at close range, before King turned away Taylor Wootton and Rehak shots.

And Raiders saw Pitchley handed a 5+game penalty for checking from behind following a hit on Tommy Ralph in the final seconds to compound their frustrations.

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