National League Cup: Invicta 1 London Raiders 11

PUBLISHED: 19:44 01 October 2017 | UPDATED: 19:44 01 October 2017

London Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper (pic John Scott)

London Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper (pic John Scott)


Jack Cooper netted his first Raiders goal on his 117th appearance for the team as they claimed the National League Cup points in style in Gillingham.

Barely two minutes had been played when Juraj Huska put Raiders ahead against one of his former clubs, lifting a rebound into the roof of the net after Sean Barry’s low shot was saved by Damien King.

And Raiders doubled their advantage just past the 12-minute mark when Matt Turner broke away to net a shorthanded goal, before JJ McGrath clashed with Mason Webster and was ejected on a 5+game penalty.

Invicta hit back during their major powerplay as Adam Rehak beat Euan King on the backhand, but Raiders restored their two-goal lead soon after as Huska set up Jake Sylvester at the far post.

And it was 4-1 before the break as defenceman Cooper finally ended his long wait for a goal in a gold and blue uniform with a shot from the blue line past the unsighted King.

Raiders killed off a holding penalty against Ollie Baldock early in the middle period, before extending their lead through Marek Nahlik in the 28th minute.

And Baldock then returned to the ice to get his name on the scoresheet, after another assist from Huska, just before the midway mark.

Invicta called a timeout after conceding twice in 59 seconds and went on the powerplay when Turner was called for charging, before Callum Burnett and Brandon Webster clashed.

But Raiders moved 7-1 up when Nahlik netted his second goal of the night on a delayed penalty call inside the final two minutes of the period, lifting the puck over King after JJ Pitchley and Brandon Ayliffe had combined.

The hosts replaced King with John Dibble for the final period, but import Rehak had to be helped off the ice in the opening minute with a leg injury.

Olegs Lascenko fired a chance wide for Raiders, while Sylvester saw his effort hit Dibble’s shoulder and bounce clear.

But Raiders got their eighth in the 47th minute as Ayliffe found the back of the net with a fine finish, and it was 9-1 just four seconds into a powerplay chance as Huska’s slapshot through traffic beat Dibble.

Dynamos killed off a holding penalty against Harrison Lillis, but Raiders hit double figures as Huska netted via the crossbar at the far post to complete his hat-trick after another fast counter-attack.

Raiders had replaced Euan King with Zach Grandy-Smith for his first action of the season in goal and Pitchley piled on more misery for the home side with a simple finish after Lascenko and Ayliffe combined.

A late powerplay chance, following a penalty against Brandon Webster, went to waste, but Raiders skated off emphatic winners.

Raiders: Huska 3+2, Nahlik 2, Pitchley 1+3, Ayliffe 1+3, Sylvester 1, Baldock 1, Cooper 1, Turner 1, Barry 0+2, Connolly 0+2, Wells 0+1, Beesley 0+1, Lascenko 0+1.

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