Ice Hockey: Raiders 6 Hull Pirates 3
PUBLISHED: 22:44 14 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:05 15 December 2019
Everyone Active Raiders ended a four-game losing streak by picking up a 6-3 victory over one of the National League title favourites Hull Pirates.
Goals from Jacob Ranson, JJ Pitchley, Jake Sylvester, Lukas Sladkovsky, Erik Piatak and Brandon Ayliffe sealed the two points for Sean Easton's men.
Face-off was delayed until 6.30pm due to Hull's late arrival at Romford's Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre.
And Raiders handed a debut to former Romford junior Ethan James between the posts, with Michael Gray missing out once again.
Kirk Long fired an early shot wide for the visitors, while Ollie Baldock had the first sight of goal for Raiders.
Bonner also went close for Hull before Raiders opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Jacob Ranson, who pounced on a rebound when Lukas Sladkovsky's shot from the right wing was blocked.
Jack Flynn's right-wing shot was to no avail and Baldock had an effort blocked, before Jason Hewitt missed the target at the other end.
Raiders lost captain Aaron Connolly to a tripping penalty with just over six minutes gone and Kirk had a blue line shot saved by James, before Blaho Novak and Sladkovsky broke up ice and Ashley Smith made a good block in the Pirates net.
And after surviving their shorthanded spell, Raiders doubled their lead midway through the period as JJ Pitchley potted his second goal of the season, assisted by Erik Piatak and Connolly.
Sladkovsky had a shot from the left wing saved by Smith, before sending another effort wide of the target.
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And James saved a long-range attempt by Bobby Chamberlain in the final minute of the opening period to protect the home side's two-goal advantage.
Just over a minute into the second period Chamberlain did find the back of the net with assists going to Dave Norris and Kevin Phillips to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Shortly after former Aberdeen Lynx man Flynn was sent to the box for slashing but the hosts managed to kill it off.
In the 28th minute of play winger Jake Sylvester picked out the top corner after linking up with Slovakian forward Piatak and defenceman Sean Barry to make it 3-1.
Three minutes later Pitchley was handed a two-minute penalty for a late hit as he looked to win a puck battle on the wall and Pirates capitalised on the man advantage as a point shot from Jason Hewitt was tipped home by Chamberlain.
Raiders were then handed a man advantage as Tom Stubley caught Piatak with a high stick but the visitors killed it off although James Archer was soon also sent to the box.
This time the hosts capitalised as Dan Scott moved the puck across the blue line to Callum Wells who banked a pass off the wall for Sladkovsky to tap into an empty net to take a 4-2 lead into the break.
It took 11 minutes into the third period for the next chance as Piatak found the back of the net after a pass from captain Connolly to make it 5-2.
Only seconds later Blahoslav Novak and Pirates Lee Bonner were both called for roughing after a scramble in front of the Raiders goal.
Pirates clawed one back on the 4-on-4 through Canadian Norris with the assists going to Chamberlain and Hewitt with less than eight minutes to play.
In the 53rd minute Ayliffe broke clear and deked round Smith to stretch the lead to 6-3 after Piatak sent the winger through on goal after a pass from defenceman Wells.
Pirates pushed hard to try salvage something from the contest, but the Raiders held firm for a fine win.