London Raiders down depleted Dynamos
- Credit: Archant
London Raiders 10 Invicta Dynamos 5
JJ Pitchley’s hat-trick led London Raiders to a convincing National League Cup win over shortstaffed Invicta at Lee Valley.
Raiders, wearing pink jerseys in support of Breast Cancer Now, handed a debut to 21-year-old Bristol Pitbulls goalie Ross Miller, with Michael Gray still suspended and Dan Lane, last week’s hero in the 6-5 win over Chelmsford, playing for Peterborough Islanders.
Meanwhile, Invicta arrived in east london with only 12 skaters, as Nicky Lewis, Tommy Ralph, Taylor and Bailey Wootton, Adam McNicoll, Steve Osman and Callum Fowler missed out, while veteran Glen Rodbourne was between the posts with Damien King and James Richardson both out injured.
Josh Condren fired just wide for the visitors in the fifth minute, while Rodbourne was alert to deny Bailey Chittock.
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And Raiders defenceman Julian Smith was handed an interference minor soon after, with Adam Rehak cutting in from the left and firing into Miller’s glove.
Mason Webster teed up Ondrej Zosiak for a slapshot, which Miller also saved, before Raiders returned to full strength and Condren had an effort ruled out as the puck went into the net off his skate.
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Dynamos were first on the scoreboard in the 10th minute, though, as Rehak and Ashley Jackson combined to set up Haydn Wootton and Rodbourne denied Raiders captain Tom Davis with a leg save soon after.
Rehak poked the puck past Miller to double Invicta’s lead in the 17th minute, but the hosts hit back 40 seconds before the break as Pitchley set up new import signing Slavomir Buda for his second goal for the club.
Dynamos restored their two-goal advantage less than two minutes into the middle session as Jackson beat Miller following good work from Condren and Arran Strawson.
But Raiders replied quickly as Marek Nahlik netted on assists from Davis and Jack Cooper and Pitchley put them back on level terms in the 26th minute, assisted by Chittock and Smith.
Jacob Ranson put Raiders 4-3 up just 49 seconds later, claiming his first goal of the campaign against his former club on another assist from Smith.
And Davis made it 5-3 in the 27th minute, after Nahlik and James Pentecost combined, to make it four goals in 3:26 of play.
Shellshocked Invicta then lost former Raiders forward Webster to a 2+10 penalty for checking to the head and Davis netted on the powerplay, before the hosts saw Davis handed a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
And Raiders controversially lost Mark Robinson to a game misconduct for leaving the bench after a clash between Ranson and Strawson, when the home side’s defenceman was completing a line change, which left the visitors were left on a powerplay.
The home side successfully killed off the penalty and moved 7-3 up when Pitchley evaded a challenge to go clean through on Rodbourne and slid the puck under the goalie.
And Nahlik netted again in the 35th minute to put Raiders five goals clear, after Ranson and Ross Connolly had combined.
A slashing penalty against Jackson gave Raiders another powerplay chance late in the period, but Rodbourne prevented Pentecost from extending the gap further before the break and also kept out Pitchley at the start of the final stanza.
Miller was called into action to tip Jackson’s shot wide, before Pitchley completed his treble by beating Rodbourne at the second attempt.
Rehak had an effort washed out by referee Blaine Evans, before also being thwarted by Miller, and Condren also had a snap shot saved by the Raiders loanee, who kept out Jackson in the 49th minute.
Raiders went into double figures when Buda and Pitchley combined to set up Chittock at 51:19, before Miller frustrated Zosiak and Brad Gutridge in quick succession.
But Dynamos struck again with just under five minutes remaining as Rehak swapped passes with Jackson and beat Miller for his second goal and the duo combined to provide Wootton with his second goal with just nine seconds left on the clock.
Raiders can expect a tougher test when they go on the road to Oxford for a league match tomorrow night.
Scorers, Raiders: JJ Pitchley 3+2 Marek Nahlik 2+2 Tom Davis 2+1 Slavomir Buda 1+3 Jacob Ranson 1+1 Bailey Chittock 1+1 Julian Smith 0+2 Jack Cooper 0+2 James Pentecost 0+1 Ross Connolly 0+1.
Dynamos: Adam Rehak 2+2 Haydn Wootton 2 Ashley Jackson 1+2 Arran Strawson 0+3 Mason Webster 0+1 Josh Condren 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 38 Invicta 18.
Shots faced: Ross Miller (L) 10-8-15=33-5 Glen Rodbourne (I) 16-16-14=46-10.