Ice Hockey: Basingstoke 6 Raiders 3

Raiders forward Lukas Sladkovsky competes at a face-off in Basingstoke (pic John Scott)

Raiders forward Lukas Sladkovsky competes at a face-off in Basingstoke (pic John Scott) - Credit: Archant

Everyone Active Raiders were left empty handed after a frustrating night against the Bison on Saturday.

Having picked up six points from their past four National League matches, Raiders killed off an early delay of game minor penalty against goalie Michael Gray, but fell behind in the fifth minute as Alex Sampford struck.

Sean Barry was denied at the other end by Alex Mettam, while Lukas Sladkovsky fired across the net before Blaho Novak also tested the Bison goalie.

Raiders kept pushing, with Barry having another shot held and Aaron Connolly also going close.

But Gray had to make a vital save to keep out Adam Harding, before Brandon Ayliffe and Olegs Lascenko had further attempts for the visitors.

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Sladkovsky set up Connolly, who saw Mettam block his shot and Bison clear the loose puck after a scramble, and Mason Webster had a shot from the left wing.

But Sam Smith fired wide from the blue line for the hosts, who doubled their lead late in the period through Adam Jones.

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Sladkovsky was called for slashing early in the middle period and Tom Ralph had a shot blocked before Liam Morris was also binned for slashing.

Raiders went on a short power play and Dan Scott had a long shot held by Mettam, before Lascenko's right wing effort was blocked.

But it was 3-0 soon after Bison got back to full strength as Morris netted on his return to the ice.

Michal Klejna was binned for slashing on the next shift, handing Raiders another power play chance, and Connolly and Lascenko had efforts to no avail.

The gloves came off just before the midway mark, with Jack Flynn trading blows with Jay King in the main bout, and Raiders ended up on another power play, as Novak, Ashley Tait and Klejna also received four minutes in penalties each.

The visitors made their extra man count through captain Connolly, assisted by Ayliffe and the returning Ollie Baldock, before Novak and Morris clashed and Raiders were handed another power play chance.

And Connolly scored again, assisted by Sladkovsky and Barry to cut the gap to one and give Sean Easton's men renewed hope.

Minor penalties against Sladkovsky (kneeing) and Scott (slashing) gave Bison 1.40 of 5-on-3 towards the end of the period, though, and they capitalised to go 4-2 up through Jones.

And Raiders then lost Connolly to a 5+game penalty for high sticks in the final minute, after catching Ryan Sutton, which left them a man short for the first four minutes of the final period.

Baldock and Erik Piatak had early chances for the visitors after the restart, as they survived their extended shorthanded spell, and Webster and Sladkovsky also threatened as they looked to close the gap once more.

Mettam blocked Piatak's shot from the right wing, while Gray denied Hallam Wilson at the other end.

But after Mettam saved from Jake Sylvester, Raiders lost Baldock to a tripping penalty and fell 5-2 behind as Morris converted on the power play.

Webster was then called for a late hit on Morris with just over seven minutes left on the clock, with Baldock then binned for roughing, before Oliver Stone picked up a tripping penalty.

Sylvester scored during the spell of 4-on-4, assisted by Novak and Barry, but Raiders joy was shortlived as Adam Harding made it 6-3 just 15 seconds later to secure the points.

Raiders return to Romford's Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday (5.15pm) to play host to the Peterborough Phantoms, who will be smarting after a 6-2 home defeat at the hands of Bracknell Bees.

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