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Thunder silence Raiders

09:40 04 January 2015

London Raiders import Vaclav Drabek fights for possession against MK Thunder (pic: John Scott)

London Raiders import Vaclav Drabek fights for possession against MK Thunder (pic: John Scott)

Archant

National League: London Raiders 2 MK Thunder 3

London Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper in action against MK Thunder (pic: John Scott)London Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper in action against MK Thunder (pic: John Scott)

London Raiders were brought back down to earth with defeat in their first match of 2015 at Lee Valley last night.

Raiders had ended last year on a winning note, with a 4-2 success over Milton Keynes to snap a long losing run.

But Thunder got their revenge in a quick return to east London to skate off with the National League points.

The visitors opened the scoring with only 58 seconds on the clock through Danish import forward Mathias Rugholm.

And they dominated the shot count in the opening period, forcing James Tanner to make 12 saves as Damien King turned away only four shots at the other end of the rink.

Raiders captain Tom Davis clashed with Rugholm late in the session, picking up six minutes in penalties as his opponent took a double minor for roughing.

But the home side survived their shorthanded spell and also killed off penalties against Matt France (hooking) and Dan Peters (high sticks) in the second period.

Raiders got themselves back on level terms in the 34th minute through Davis, but their joy was shortlived as Thunder regained the lead 88 seconds before the end of the stanza with a goal from Harrison Goode.

Thunder defended a delay of game minor against Thomas Castle soon after the restart before Raiders hopes were hit by the ejection of forward Liam Chong.

Phil Manny (hooking) and Jacob Ranson (slashing) had picked up minors and Chong earned a 10-minute misconduct penalty for his comments, which was upgraded to a game misconduct.

King stood firm in the visiting net, but premium chances were at a minimum and Thunder went 3-1 up with a little over three minutes remaining as Jamie Line netted.

Stephen Deacon replied for Raiders, with Grant Taylor picking up an assist for his first point since returning to club colours, but it was scant consolation with only seven seconds on the clock.

Raiders face the difficult trip to Invicta tonight, after the Dynamos went down 10-2 at English Premier League side Milton Keynes Lightning last night.

Scorers, Raiders: Deacon 1 Davis 1 Peters 0+1 Taylor 0+1.

Thunder: Goode 1+1 Line 1 Rugholm* 1 Poziomkowski* 0+1 Castle 0+1 Knaggs 0+1.

Penalty minutes: Raiders 46 Thunder 14.

Shots faced: Tanner (Raiders) 24 King (Thunder) 25.

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