Raiders back to winning ways
PUBLISHED: 08:42 19 January 2014 | UPDATED: 08:42 19 January 2014
National League: Raiders 9 MK Thunder 5
Raiders snapped their five-game losing streak with victory over basement boys Milton Keynes at Lee Valley last night.
But Danny Marshall’s wafer-thin squad did not have it all their own way against the Thunder.
When Jakub Klima’s fine solo effort opened the scoring with barely 30 seconds played, one might have expected an easy night for Raiders.
But Peter Burai’s long range wrist shot beat Michael Gray on a Thunder powerplay to level, before Grant Taylor tipped in AJ Smith’s turnaround pass to restore Raiders lead.
Marshall tapped in from close range when Klima’s shot was saved by David Cassidy early in the middle period and Frankie Harvey rifled home a first-time shot off Marshall’s face off win to make it 4-1 soon after.
But Alex Whyte replied with a neat finish in close and Matthew Roberts cut the gap to one in the 38th minute.
Charlie Phillips blasted home his first Raiders goal on the next shift to put the hosts 5-3 up heading into the final frame.
And Taylor pounced on a rebound to roof the loose puck when JJ McGrath’s shot was saved to open up another three-goal gap after the restart.
But former Raider Jamie Randall lashed home at the other end when Gray saved Jacob Ranson’s effort before Smith converted at the far post to put Raiders 7-4 up.
Ranson, having left Raiders in search of more opportunity at Thunder earlier this month cut, in from the left to drill a low shot past Gray just 32 seconds later on his way to the man of the match award.
But the visitors could not make any further inroads though and Harvey’s strong wrist shot sent Cassidy to the bench to be replaced by Denis Bell with just under four minutes left.
And the GB under-18 goalie was beaten late on when Harvey batted the puck out of mid air for Klima to send it into the top corner on the half volley.
Raiders travel to Bracknell to take on the Hornets tonight (Sunday, 6pm).
Scorers, Raiders: Harvey 2+2, Klima 2+1, Taylor 2+1, Marshall 1+3, Smith 1+2, C Phillips 1, Oliver 0+2, McGrath 0+1, Davis 0+1.
Thunder: Ranson 1+1, Randall 1+1, Burai 1+1, Whyte 1+1, Roberts 1, Moore 0+2, Phillips 0+1, Fairhurst 0+1.
Shots on goal: Gray 32-5 Cassidy (56.10) 48-8 Bell (3.50) 3-1.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 18 Thunder 6.
Referee: Jurijs Solovjovs.