Ice hockey: Basingstoke 4 Raiders 3 (OT)
PUBLISHED: 21:21 01 February 2020 | UPDATED: 21:21 01 February 2020
Everyone Active Raiders snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against National League rivals Basingstoke on a dramatic night in Hampshire.
Brandon Ayliffe's hat-trick looked to have earned the visitors the points as the match entered its last four minutes.
But Erik Piatak then had an effort ruled out and Bison scored three late goals, including a last-gasp equaliser, before netting a late, late winner in overtime.
And it was a case of history repeating itself as Raiders had lost 6-5 in overtime on their previous trip to Basingstoke, having conceded with just four seconds left in regulation time on that occasion.
They travelled without defencemen Dan Scott and Jack Cooper, as well as long-term absentees Callum Burnett and Ross Connolly, with 15 skaters and two goalies to face a Bison side with five extra bodies on their bench.
Ethan James made the first save of note from Adam Harding in the opening minute, before Aaron Connolly went close from Piatak's pass at the other end.
Alex Sampford was denied by James, who also blocked a low effort from Tom Ralph, before Jake Sylvester was denied a good chance by Adam Jones.
Raiders opened the scoring, though, on a delayed slashing call against Liam Morris through Ayliffe, who was sent away by captain Connolly to score.
Ralph was then binned for slashing to give Raiders the first power play chance of the night midway through the opening period, but Harding fired a long shot wide for the home side as they killed off the penalty.
Basingstoke were back on the penalty kill when Ryan Sutton was also binned for slashing and Callum Wells sent a long shot wide for Raiders before Ayliffe went down in front of the home net and had to be helped off the ice.
Alex Mettam saved a hard shot from Jack Flynn, while Wells sent an effort from the left wing over the net.
And Piatak was denied by a superb Mettam save after a turnover, while James thwarted Sam Talbot from Richard Bordowski's pass.
Bison went on the power play early in the middle period after Jacob Ranson was called for tripping, but Jones had a shot blocked and George Norcliffe was unable to get to a pass from Michal Klejna in front of the net.
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Harding was binned for slashing and Lukas Sladkovsky and Olegs Lascenko sent shots wide for Raiders on their power play before Bordowski was denied twice in quick succession.
A slashing call against Ollie Baldock gave the home side a man advantage, but Raiders defended it well and Bayley Harewood shot wide after racing up ice.
Tempers boiled over towards the end of the period, with Klejna ejected with a match penalty for slew foot checking, on top of a fighting double minor and Wells thrown out with a match for fighting, on top of a 2+10 penalty for a check to the head.
Mason Webster also got four minutes for fighting, while Flynn picked up a 10-minute misconduct penalty, which left Bison with a two-minute power play.
But Raiders killed it off and then doubled their lead as Ayliffe netted his second goal of the night, assisted by Piatak and JJ Pitchley, after putting the puck goalwards and seeing it go in off Jay King.
Mettam blocked shots from Sean Barry and Dan Fuller at the start of the final period, while Baldock saw an attempt deflected over.
Bison went on the power play when Fuller was called for high sticks and James stretched out a leg to deny Ashley Tait, while Bordowski spurned a chance at the far post.
Sampford was given a 2+10 penalty for checking from behind and Ranson sent a long shot wide on the Raiders power play, before the visitors went 3-0 up as Ayliffe completed his hat-trick with an excellent finish on the backhand, assisted by Lascenko.
Webster had a shot blocked by Mettam, then combined well with Sylvester to create a decent chance in front of the net, which came to nothing.
But Raiders went on the penalty kill with just over five minutes left on the clock after Baldock was binned for interference.
And after Piatak had a goal ruled out by the officials, Bison hit back on the power play through Tait, then cut the gap to one just 36 seconds later through King to force Raiders coach Sean Easton to call a timeout.
Mettam was pulled for an extra skater and Bison found the net with just three seconds left, but the officials then held a big discussion to decide whether or not James had been impeded.
The goal was eventually given to Bison player-coach Tait, who had poked the puck over the line, and the hosts took all the momentum into overtime, only to see Bordowski called for interference on James just 29 seconds in and Raiders go on the power play.
But the hosts survived and, after Blaho Novak had fired just wide for the visitors, went on a power play of their own when the Raiders forward was called for cross-checking.
Sean Norris tipped Tait's shot onto a post and James saved from Jones with 61 seconds left to play, but Bison won it with 1.6 seconds on the clock through Bordowski's power play goal.