London Raiders downed by Dynamos, again
PUBLISHED: 08:12 29 January 2017 | UPDATED: 12:11 29 January 2017
London Raiders 3 Invicta Dynamos 4
London Raiders came up short against Invicta for the second time in a week after a tense clash at Lee Valley last night.
Dynamos had won 3-2 when the two sides met in Gillingham last weekend and made it five wins from six encounters in a quick return.
Invicta arrived with only 11 outskaters, with no fewer than 10 players missing from their line-up, while Raiders handed a second debut to the returning Jack Lee.
And the home side saw JJ Pitchley force John Dibble into action in the opening exchanges, before Stewart Tait was called for hooking Adam Rehak to hand the visitors the first powerplay of the night.
Euan King denied Bradley Gutridge, then also stopped Invicta’s new signing Scott Bailey, before the Dynamos found the back of the net but saw the effort ruled out.
And Raiders took the lead in the ninth minute when Marek Nahlik passed the puck out from behind Dibble’s net and Brandon Miles fired home a wristshot.
Penalties against Thomas Beesley and Andy Munroe handed Invicta more than a minute of 5-on-3 midway through the opening period and they made it count to get back on level terms through Rehak, whose late powerplay goal had clinched victory a week earlier.
A slashing call against Nahlik led to another man advantage for the Dynamos, but King kept out Adam McNicoll’s blue line blast and he also dived at the feet of Rehak to smother the puck.
Raiders captain Tom Davis fired a shorthanded chance over at the other end, before Nahlik’s return to the ice, but Taylor Wootton twice went close for Invicta as they applied more pressure late in the period.
King saved from Bailey Wootton early in the middle session, before Pitchley put Raiders back in front, assisted by Julian Smith, on his 23rd birthday.
And the hosts saw defenceman Jack Cooper, still searching for his first goal for the club with his 100th appearance fast approaching, denied by Dibble, before Ondrej Zosiak’s hit on Pitchley prompted an angry reaction from Alan Lack.
Both players received minor penalties for roughing, but Dynamos felt Lack deserved more claiming he had left the home bench to get involved.
Dibble then produced a great save to thwart Slavomir Buda while both sides were down to four skaters, before Nahlik failed to capitalise on a breakaway chance.
And Dynamos squared matters for a second time as Bailey Wootton converted Steve Osman’s pass at the midway point of proceedings, before Lack and Rehak clashed and picked up roughing minors.
The visitors took the lead for the first time on the night just 34 seconds later, as Arran Strawson set up Osman to score, but McNicoll was given a delay of game minor from the restart and Dibble got down well to save from Miles on the Raiders powerplay.
Smith traded blows with Rehak later in the period, with both players earning double minors for roughing, and Strawson was binned for a face-off violation with just over two minutes left in the session.
But the visitors managed to survive to take a one-goal lead to the lockerroom and it was 4-2 within two minutes of the restart as Wootton’s shot was deflected past King by Pitchley, who was returning to the action after missing most of the middle period following the hit from Zosiak.
Dibble denied Lack as Raiders looked for a quick reply, before Dynamos saw Jarvis Mewett called for a delay of game penalty, which was successfully killed off, and Strawson was binned for hooking.
Young Raiders defenceman Callum Burnett forced Dibble into another save, but Wootton went close to completing his hat-trick from Rehak’s centring pass, before the shortbenched Dynamos saw Strawson called for tripping Nahlik as he looked to break up ice.
The penalty killers did their job once again to further frustrate Raiders, but Dibble was then called for tripping with just over five minutes left to play and Gutridge served the penalty for his goalie.
Raiders gave themselves late hope as Thomas Beesley converted with a backhand shot on the powerplay, assisted by Lack, and they poured forward in search of a last-gasp equaliser in the closing stages.
But Lack was denied by Dibble with 90 seconds left and after King thwarted Wootton and then was removed for an extra skater, Raiders saw their frantic late efforts repelled by man of the match Dibble.
Raiders will hope for better when the visit MK Thunder on Sunday evening.
Scorers, Raiders: Brandon Miles 1 Thomas Beesley 1 JJ Pitchley 1 Alan Lack 0+1 Julian Smith 0+1 Marek Nahlik* 0+1.
Dynamos: Bailey Wootton 2 Steve Osman 1+1 Adam Rehak* 1 Scott Bailey 0+1 Ondrej Zosiak* 0+1 Adam McNicoll 0+1 Arran Strawson 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 16 Dynamos 20.
Shots faced: Euan King (L, 59.43) 14-6-3=23-4 John Dibble (I, 59.53) 9-19-14=42-3.
Referee: Blaine Evans.
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