Ice hockey: Bracknell Bees 4 Raiders 2
PUBLISHED: 21:19 17 March 2019
Everyone Active Raiders fell to defeat in their final match of the National League Division One regular season at Bracknell on Sunday.
And after finishing in fifth place, they will get the chance of early revenge when they meet the Bees in the first round of the play-offs next weekend.
Raiders opened the scoring when turning the puck over in the neutral zone for Juraj Huska to pick out Jake Sylvester to fire home.
But the hosts were back on level terms in the 11th minute when Aidan Doughty found a way past Michael Gray.
Raiders killed off a kneeing penalty against Mason Webster and also survived another shorthanded spell when Sylvester was binned for slashing towards the end of the period.
The visitors were handed a full two minutes of 5-on-3 early in the middle session when Joe Baird and Tyler Vankleef was called for holding the stick and high sticks respectively.
Bees survived, though, and went close to taking the lead when Vankleef returned to the ice to force a blocker save from Gray.
The gloves came off just before the midway mark as Ben Paynter and Webster traded and picked up double minors for fighting.
Vankleef went back to the box soon after for roughing but the home side took the lead while shorthanded after a mistake by Gray saw him go to retrieve the puck in the corner but pick out Ryan Sutton, who gratefully accepted the gift to score.
Raiders went close to restoring parity in the 38th minute when Brandon Ayliffe rang a post, which left them with a deficit to overturn in the final 20 minutes.
Their task became harder just five minutes into the last period as Brendan Baird tapped in at the far post to finish off a well-worked move.
And Vankleef deflected in a shot by Luke Jackson to make it 4-1 with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Tensions boiled over soon after as Webster and JJ Pitchley were binned along with Scott Spearing to give the hosts a power play chance.
But Raiders hit back while shorthanded as man of the match Ayliffe broke clear and outwitted Dean Skinns to score.
Paynter was binned for slashing seconds later to give Raiders a faint glimmer of hope on the power play, but they could not make it count as Bees held on for the win.
Raiders will have home advantage in the first leg of their play-off meeting next weekend, as they host the Bees at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday (5.15pm).
Scorers, Bees: Aidan Doughty 1, Ryan Sutton 1, Tyler Vankleef 1, Brendan Baird 1, Roman Malinik 0+2, Luke Jackson 0+1, Ivan Antonov 0+1, Zack Milton 0+1, Harvey Sttead 0+1.
Raiders: Brandon Ayliffe 1+1, Jake Sylvester 1, Julian Smith 0+1, Juraj Huska 0+1.
Shots on goal: Dean Skinns (B) 5-12-6=23-2; Michael Gray (R) 11-11-15=37-4.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.