Ice Hockey: Bracknell 2 Raiders 3
PUBLISHED: 20:04 27 October 2019 | UPDATED: 20:04 27 October 2019
Everyone Active Raiders ended a four-game losing run in the National League with a hard-fought victory over Bracknell on Sunday.
Having suffered back-to-back defeats against Basingstoke, Leeds, Peterborough and MK Lightning over the previous two weekends, Raiders took to the ice in Berkshire with new import forward Erik Piatak, who was added to the roster after the release of Marek Malinsky.
And Michael Gray made early saves from Brendan Baird and Zack Milton, before Brandon Ayliffe and Jacob Ranson sent right-wing shots on Adam Goss at the other end.
Raiders killed off a boarding penalty against Mason Webster, before opening the scoring on 11 minutes as Ayliffe broke and fired home, assisted by Jake Sylvester.
Gray had to save from Louis Colvin and Roman Malinik but Bees were back on terms soon after through Ryan Webb.
Colvin was binned for elbowing but Raiders could not capitalise on their first power play of the night and also lost Olegs Lascenko to a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
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Lukas Sladkovsky had a shot blocked towards the end of the opening period, but Raiders saw captain Aaron Connolly binned for hooking with just over a minute remaining on the clock.
The visitors survived the shorthanded spell without their skipper but fell behind to a delayed penalty goal from Webb just past the 26-minute mark, with a tripping call about to be made on Jack Flynn.
Raiders replied just 19 seconds later, though, as defenceman Ross Connolly netted with a slapshot from the blue line, off Webster's assist, only for JJ Pitchley to then depart on an interference minor.
That was killed off, before Bracknell survived a slashing penalty against Joe Baird and Goss made saves from Piatak, Ollie Baldock and Aaron Connolly.
Play continued to swing from end to end in the final period, with Ayliffe having a long shot deflected wide and Lascenko firing wide from Blaho Novak's drop pass, before Webb was wide of the mark for Bees.
And Raiders got their noses in front once again with just under 10 minutes left on the clock when Sylvester scored from debutant Piatak's pass.
Bees pushed forward in search of an equaliser in the closing minutes, with Josh Martin seeing a shot saved by Gray, Stuart Mogg sending two shots through a crowd of players wide and Malinik also missing the target.
Goss was removed for an extra skater in the final minute of the match, but Bees could not find a way through as Raiders held on for two welcome points.