London Raiders hold off Hornets
PUBLISHED: 20:11 04 December 2016 | UPDATED: 20:11 04 December 2016
London Raiders 3 Bracknell Hornets 2
London Raiders dug deep to edge past bottom club Bracknell and claim the National League points at Lee Valley on Sunday evening.
Raiders took to the ice with only 11 skaters, with brothers John and Ross Connolly absent along with fellow defenceman Julian Smith.
The home side dominated the shot count 18-11 in the first period, but Hornets goalie Daniel Milton and their own Euan King held firm between the pipes.
The deadlock was eventually broken just past the midway point of the second period as Sam Roberts netted on assists from Marek Nahlik and JJ Pitchley.
And the same trio combined to similar effect less than three minutes later to double Raiders lead, with Roberts claiming his second goal of the night.
Raiders were soon brought back to earth, though, as Bracknell scored twice in 26 seconds to level matters.
A bench minor penalty for having too many men on the ice gave the visitors a powerplay chance, which Ondrej Pekarik capitalised upon to halve the deficit.
And Pekarik potted his second goal moments later to get Bracknell back on terms.
Raiders were outshooting their rivals 33-16 after 40 minutes of play, yet the game remained in the balance as the two sides returned for the final session.
A hooking call against Matt France gave Bracknell a man advantage, but Raiders killed off the penalty and then regained the lead soon after as Slavomir Buda converted, with Jack Cooper and Stewart Tait credited with assists.
Bracknell lost Ben Ealey-Newman to a 10-minute misconduct penalty with just over five minutes left on the clock, with the youngster also given a game misconduct penalty by referee Jurijs Solovjovs.
The visitors called a timeout to discuss their tactics in the closing minutes and Raiders saw Thomas Beesley binned for tripping with 50 seconds on the clock.
But the shortstaffed hosts held on to claim two important points and they are set to host Milton Keynes Thunder in their next fixture on December 10.
Scorers, Raiders; Sam Roberts 2 Slavomir Buda* 1 JJ Pitchley 0+2 Marek Nahlik* 0+2 Jack Cooper 0+1 Stewart Tait 0+1.
Hornets: Ondrej Pekarik* 2 Josh Ealey-Newman 0+2 Dan Hughes 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 8 Hornets 38.