Heavy play-off loss for London Raiders
PUBLISHED: 21:03 02 April 2017 | UPDATED: 21:03 02 April 2017
Chelmsford Chieftains 11 London Raiders 3 (16-4 on aggregate)
London Raiders were put to the sword by Chelmsford in their National League play-off semi-final second leg at the Riverside Ice Arena as their season ended in a heavy defeat.
Beaten 5-1 in the first leg at Lee Valley the night before, Raiders knew they had a mountain to climb to produce an upset.
And they were never in the hunt, as the home side stormed to a big win to keep their hopes of a treble alive.
Grant Bartlett opened the scoring in the seventh minute and added his second six minutes later, before Darren Brown was called for tripping.
Raiders were caught out on the powerplay, though, as Danny Hammond netted a shorthanded third for the hosts, but Marek Nahlik hit back after Alan Lack had been binned.
It proved a false dawn, however, as Cameron Bartlett and Juraj Huska struck further goals for Chelmsford to put them 5-1 up at the first break.
A sixth Chieftains goal arrived soon after the restart, but Raiders avoided further damage until the 36th minute when Hammond claimed his second goal of the night.
Carl Graham then converted just 17 seconds into a Chelmsford powerplay after Andy Munroe was binned for tripping to make it 8-1, with JJ Pitchley picking up a sholding minor seconds before the interval.
Nahlik netted his second goal of the evening while Raiders were shorthanded at the start of the final period and Sam Roberts added a third in the 48th minute.
And Raiders then gave young goalie Harry Buckingham some valuable time between the posts in relief of Euan King, before Graham was called for slashing to hand the visitors a powerplay chance.
Buckingham was beaten three times in the closing minutes, though, with former Raider Matt Turner putting Chelmsford into double figures and Grant Bartlett completing his hat-trick to send the league champions and cup winners through to a final meeting with Invicta, following their 13-4 aggregate win over Streatham in the other semi-final.