National League: Raiders 2 Bracknell Bees 3
PUBLISHED: 19:55 06 October 2018 | UPDATED: 21:40 06 October 2018
Everyone Active Raiders were left empty-handed in their top-of-the-table clash with Bracknell after conceding a late power play goal at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday.
With the match poised at 2-2, a bench minor penalty for having too many men on the ice proved costly for the home side as Bees provided a late sting.
The first penalty of the night went against Raiders forward Brandon Ayliffe for slashing, but the hosts killed it off and then went on their own power play when Roman Malinik was binned for hooking.
Once Malinik returned, referee Blaine Evans banished JJ Pitchley for charging, but the Bees could not capitalise as the scoreline remained blank.
An incident towards the end of the opening period saw Raiders forward Blaho Novak handed a match penalty for butt-ending, while Scott Spearing was given an interference minor.
And that left Raiders, outshot 11-4 in the first 20 minutes, shorthanded for three minutes at the start of the second period and Bees had a goal ruled out just over a minute into the session due to there being a player in Michael Gray’s crease.
The rest of the Novak penalty was killed off as Gray and opposite number Dean Skinns held firm at either end of the rink.
But Raiders broke the deadlock in the 34th minute as Jake Sylvester found the net on assists from Ayliffe and Matt Turner for his fifth goal in three games.
Bracknell were back on terms within just 31 seconds of the final period as Shaun Thompson netted from Josh Martin’s pass.
And they moved 2-1 up a minute later as Ivan Antonov broke away to beat Gray, with assists going to Spearing and Stuart Mogg.
Raiders rallied to square matters, though, as Sylvester and Turner combined and Filip Sedivy found the net in the 47th minute.
But Ayliffe limped off the ice, with Raiders disappointed not to see a penalty called, before the hosts were caught with too many men on the ice with just over six minutes remaining.
And they were made to pay for the indiscretion as Bees regained the lead on the power play with 5.21 left as Harvey Stead tipped the puck home, on assists from Zach Milton and Josh Smith.
Raiders called a timeout with 58 seconds to go and removed Gray for an extra skater, but Bees went closest to adding to the scoreline, just missing an empty net chance in the closing seconds.
Head coach Sean Easton takes his Raiders squad to Streatham on Sunday (6.45pm).
Scorers, Raiders: Jake Sylvester 1+1, Filip Sedivy 1, Matt Turner 0+2, Brandon Ayliffe 0+1.
Bees: Shaun Thompson 1, Ivan Antonov 1, Harvey Stead 1, Josh Martin 0+1, Scott Spearing 0+1, Stuart Mogg 0+1, Zach Milton 0+1, Josh Smith 0+1.
Shots faced: Michael Gray (R, 59.22) 11-14-12=37-3; Dean Skinns (B, 59.49) 4-13-10=27-2.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 31 Bracknell 4.