Ice hockey: Invicta 1 Raiders 4
PUBLISHED: 20:16 19 January 2019
Everyone Active Raiders returned to winning ways in National League Division One with a comfortable enough success at bottom club Invicta.
Having suffered successive defeats against Peterborough and Bracknell, Raiders opened the scoring on the very first shift of the night as Blaho Novak found JJ Pitchley to the right of goal and he fired into the far top corner of the net with 14 seconds on the clock.
Juraj Huska hit a post soon after, before Ben Clements denied Joe Allen at the other end.
And Novak saw Conor Morris deny him before firing a second chance over, while Clements thwarted Callum Best at point-blank range.
Liam Chong was called for high sticks to give Dynamos a power play, with Brandon Miles firing a good chance wide.
And Raiders doubled their advantage after returning to full strength as Huska teed up captain Aaron Connolly at the far post on an odd-man break.
Raiders killed off a cross-checking penalty against Dan Scott before Clements saved from Oskars Ancitis as the visitors dominated the shot count 19-15 in the opening period.
Morris made an early double save in the middle session from Novak and Pitchley, who was denied again when left unmarked in the slot.
But Raiders lost John Connolly to a holding penalty and Invicta converted on the power play as Arran Strawson beat Clements with a backhand shot from a tight angle.
Clements held on to a blast from Ondrej Zosiak before Raiders restored their two-goal cushion as Jake Sylvester cut in from the wing and sent a low shot past Morris and into the bottom corner of the net.
It was 4-1 less than three minutes later when Sylvester sent a first-time shot from Huska’s cross-ice pass inside the near post on a power play, after Luke Thirkettle was binned for slashing.
The scoreline remained unchanged through the second half of the match, as Louis Colvin called Clements into action, before Sylvester hit the underside of the crossbar and the Raiders goalie denied Miles and Colvin, again, before the end of the period.
The final frame began with Huska firing a shot off the shoulder of Morris, before Callum Wells was binned on an interference minor.
But the visitors killed off the penalty without much alarm, then went on the power play themselves when ex-Raiders defenceman Andrew Munroe was called for tripping.
It proved just as uneventful as Invicta’s man advantage, though, as the match entered its final 10 minutes.
Morris denied Aaron Connolly twice at his near post at close range, after the Raiders skipped skated in from the right, while the hosts wasted a 2-on-1 chance as Best could not convert a pass from Ancitis.
Sylvester saw another chance to complete his hat-trick go begging as he fired wide having been fed a pass from behind the Invicta net, while Lewis English saw a shot comfortably saved by Clements after another set up from Ancitis.
And Connolly saw an attempt to find the roof of the net blocked by the shoulder of Morris, after speeding down the left wing and aiming for the near post.
The two sides meet again at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday (5.30pm) when Raiders will hope to complete a four-point weekend.
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