Ice Hockey Preview
PUBLISHED: 08:28 25 February 2011
Time for the big island bash
ENL Division 1
Saturday: Isle of Wight v Romford Raiders (6pm)
Sunday: Romford Raiders v Bristol (5.15pm)
Raiders face their third successive double-header weekend, but it’s all about the first part on Saturday.
Unbeaten in their last 14 matches (13 wins, 1 draw) after two come-from-behind triumphs last weekend, they travel off the mainland to take on the ‘other’ Raiders, who lead the division on the back of a 20-game (16 wins, 4 draws) unbeaten run.
Danny Marshall’s men rallied from 2-0 down to beat MK Thunder, with the player-coach netting twice, along with captain Anthony Leone.
And they twice came from behind in Streatham, despite a short bench, to grind their way to a 3-2 victory over the Redskins.
Something has to give on the small ice pad at Ryde, though, and Romford will travel safe in the knowledge they have already banked two points there this season, thanks to a 5-2 win.
They fell to a 3-1 defeat on home ice a week later, but both October games came before Slovakian hot shot Juraj Huska joined the Rom Valley Way ranks.
Huska can expect some ‘close’ attention from Jeremy Cornish’s side and Romford will be without JJ McGrath, who sits the final match of a 3-game suspension.
Special teams could well prove the key, so keeping a cool head in what is sure to be a tense atmosphere and staying out of the penalty box will be vital for victory hopes.
Defeat would not be terminal to Romford’s title hopes, with Wight due in Essex again on March 6, but a win could send a clear message to the rest of the league.