Coach Easton wants Raiders to maintain momentum with another win over Wildcats
PUBLISHED: 18:00 14 December 2018
Everyone Active Raiders head coach Sean Easton wants his side to maintain their momentum as they welcome Swindon Wildcats to Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday (5.30pm).
Raiders extended their winning run to four matches with victories at then-leaders Swindon and on home ice against Bracknell, who were second, last weekend and face a free Saturday to prepare for their next outing.
And Easton believes having just a one-game weekend could prove beneficial, after a tired-looking Raiders fell two goals behind in the first period against the Bees before rallying for a 4-2 triumph.
He said: “I think so, especially this time of year. There’s a lot of things going on, we can focus all week on training for the Swindon game.
“What we need now is that consistency. We said we wanted to win our mini battles against teams. Swindon are 2-1 up against us at the moment, so if we can make that 2-2, just like we have with Bracknell.”
Raiders produced a fine all-round team display to beat Swindon 5-2 in Wiltshire, with goals from Dan Scott, Ashley Jackson, captain Aaron Connolly, Blaho Novak and Juraj Huska, having lost 6-0 on their previous visit to the Link Centre.
And they rallied from a slow start the following night to level against Bracknell with power play goals from JJ Pitchley and Connolly, who spent the weekend on defence in the absence of Callum Wells and Liam Chong.
Novak netted the go-ahead goal in the final period, with Jackson firing into an empty net after the Bees withdrew goalie Dan Milton for an extra skater in the final minute, and Easton admitted the mood in the camp was much better as a result of their improved results.
He added: “Penalties have improved. We’re actually playing a bit more physical than we were, cutting out a lot of the stickwork, and that’s showing in our results.
“It’s always easy when you’re winning, but I think we’ve had a real turnaround in the changing room. We sorted a few issues out that we had, everyone now seems to be on the same page and focused a lot more.”
Raiders goalie Michael Gray faced a total of 92 shots over the two games and Easton said: “Michael was unreal all weekend. To concede only four goals against the top two teams, and put nine past them, back to front it’s a great performance.”