London Raiders rally to sink Streatham
PUBLISHED: 21:18 19 February 2017 | UPDATED: 21:18 19 February 2017
Streatham 3 London Raiders 5
London Raiders rallied from two goals down to beat Streatham for a morale-boosting win in south London.
Thumped 11-3 on their own Lee Valley ice by champions Chelmsford a night earlier, Raiders were again without injured duo Marek Nahlik and Matt France and saw Sam Roberts fire an early chance wide.
The visitors then failed to capitalise on a powerplay chance after Casimir Madren-Britton was called for tripping Alan Lack and Streatham took the lead soon after, as Ryan Webb teed up Danny Rose to fire into the top corner.
It was 2-0 a minute later as Madren-Britton released Sean Scarborough to slot home and Alan Blyth called a timeout in a bid to settle the visitors, but Lack was then called for slashing former Raiders forward Jacob Ranson to give the hosts a man advantage.
Ryan Giles and Alex Sampford had chances during the powerplay, before Streatham received a bench minor penalty for having too many men on the ice and also had Madren-Britton sin-binned for tripping.
Raiders could not make their 42 seconds of 5-on-3 pay dividends, though, and they went into the break two goals down and having failed to score in seven full periods of hockey at the south London rink this season.
The long wait came to an end soon after the restart, however, as Thomas Beesley caused problems for the Streatham defence and Slavomir Buda slotted home, ending their drought at the venue at 140.40, to halve the deficit.
The joy was shortlived as Jack Cooper was called for hooking and Streatham restored their two-goal cushion on the resulting powerplay, as Scarborough skated out from behind the net to fire past Euan King.
And Raiders were unable to convert another powerplay chance when Callum Best was called for tripping, after Giles and Lack had engaged in a spot of pushing and shoving in a melee.
Callum Burnett’s deflected shot was saved by Matt Colclough, before Raiders claimed their second goal of the night through Beesley, who converted well at the far post to the delight of the travelling fans.
And Raiders went close to hauling themselves level as they enjoyed a spell of pressure and JJ Pitchley was left all alone in front of goal, but saw Colclough produce a great save.
Pitchley saw another effort denied by Colclough, but Raiders were back on terms as Beesley bagged his second goal of the night with a fine solo effort, weaving through the home defence and firing into the roof of the net.
Both sides were reduced to four skaters late in the period after Brandon Miles and Ranson were given roughing minors, with Stewart Tait called for a delay of game penalty in the closing seconds after lifting the puck over the plexi glass from inside his own zone.
Adam Wood and Pitchley then clashed with eight seconds left to also make their way to the penalty box with minor penalties, before the Streatham man was handed an extra 10-minute penalty.
The home side started the final period with 90 seconds on the powerplay, but Raiders survived and were then given a man advantage of their own with just over 10 minutes left to play when Joe Allen was called for hooking.
And they needed just three seconds to make it count as Lack forced the puck over the line from the resulting face-off to give the visitors their first lead of the night.
Pitchley picked up a delay of game penalty with seven minutes remaining to give Streatham another powerplay chance, but Raiders killed it off well, only to then see Lack binned for holding the opponent’s stick with four minutes left in the match.
Streatham’s advantage was soon cancelled out, though, by a penalty against Giles, for slashing Pitchley, which meant Raiders had an extra skater for most of the closing stages and home coach Jeremy Cornish called a timeout with 88 seconds left on the clock, before pulling Colclough.
Raiders scored their fifth goal of the night into the empty net, though, to secure the points and give themselves a lift ahead of next weekend’s two-legged cup semi-final against Chelmsford.