Raiders get goalie James to return between the pipes
- Credit: John Scott
Everyone Active Raiders have announced goalie Ethan James as the next returnee for the 2022-23 season.
The 23-year-old played some of his junior hockey in Romford and appeared for England under-13s at the World Pee-Wee Championships in Quebec in successive years, before the old Rom Valley Way rink closed in 2013.
He had been named an under-13 All-Star and MVP at the EIHA Conference weekend in 2012 and under-15 All-Star in 2013, before going on to spend three seasons with the Swindon-based Okanagan Hockey Academy and winning the England under-18 title.
James then crossed the Atlantic to play in the Greater Metropolitan Hockey League (GMHL) for Coldwater Falcons in 2015-16 and, having earned Great Britain under-18 honours, spent the next three seasons playing for Essa Stallions in the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League.
While in Ontario, James recorded the best save percentage for two straight seasons (933, 949), as well as best goals against average (1.37) in 2017-18.
He was a league All-Star and won back-to-back championships, while also helping GB under-20s to win a bronze medal at the World Championships Division 2A.
James returned to Romford in 2019-20 and helped Raiders qualify for the National League play-offs, before the Covid-19 pandemic cut the campaign short.
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He appeared in the 12-game Spring Cup series, played behind closed doors, and was back in a gold and blue jersey last season, as Raiders missed out on the post-season.
And James has made 81 appearances for Raiders, picking up six assists, and has a goals against average of 4.14 and save percentage of 88.29.
He joins captain Aaron Connolly, Dan Scott, Tom Relf, Jake Sylvester, Brandon Ayliffe, Jacob Ranson, Jack Cooper and Tommy Huggett on Sean Easton's roster for the new campaign, when Raiders line up in an enlarged 11-team division following the addition of Bristol Pitbulls and Hull Seahawks, with more signings set to be announced in the coming days.