Ice Hockey: MK Thunder 5 Raiders 8
PUBLISHED: 21:48 26 January 2019
Everyone Active Raiders came from two goals down to silence MK Thunder in National League Division One on Saturday.
And Jake Sylvester’s hat-trick led the way, following a brace from man of the match Matt Turner, as the visitors scored five times in the final period to skate off with the points.
Captain Aaron Connolly had the first shot of the game held by Jordan Lawday in the opening minute, while Ben Clements was called into action to deny Rio Grinell-Parke twice in quick succession at the other end.
Thunder took the lead with barely four minutes gone, though, with an unassisted goal from Tomas Rubes, and Harry Ferguson – a Scottish forward from the Elite League MK Lightning making a guest appearance – also went close moments later.
Dan Scott drove wide from the blue line for Raiders, with Callum Wells also off-target after Rubes had forced Clements into another save.
It was 2-0 at 11.03, however, as Grinell-Parke scored off assists from Rubes and Ferguson and Thunder killed off a tripping call against Ross Green, with Sylvester’s hard shot going just wide for the visitors.
Jack Cooper had a long shot blocked by Lawday, who also thwarted the lively looking Sylvester and Ollie Baldock, before Blaho Novak picked up a cross-checking minor penalty in the last minute of the first period.
The teams exchanged words at the buzzer, with Mason Webster and Hallden Barnes-Garner given unsportsmanlike conduct minors.
And Raiders hit back once the penalties had expired through long-serving Matt Turner, assisted by Novak.
Brandon Ayliffe went close to levelling it up as his shot came back off a post, while Filip Sedivy had an effort saved by Lawday.
But Thunder went 3-1 up as Rubes claimed his second of the night, assisted by Ferguson and Grinell-Parke.
Raiders replied two minutes later with a second from Turner, after Sean Barry and Ayliffe had combined, but Grinell-Parke forced Clements to block before Baldock sent a hard shot wide.
And it was 4-2 in the 34th minute as Barnes-Garner found the net, assisted by Alex Whyte and Greg Randall.
The home side’s joy was shortlived as Raiders quickly claimed their third goal three minutes later, with Connolly’s shot blocked by Lawday and Sedivy converting the rebound.
But a hooking penalty against John Connolly gave Thunder a power play chance towards the end of the period, with Clements making a good glove save on Ferguson to ensure the scoreline remained unchanged going into the final frame.
Raiders were back on terms 82 seconds after the restart as Sylvester scored assisted by Baldock and then moved 5-4 up just over a minute later when Webster scored from linemate JJ Pitchley’s pass.
And provider Pitchley turned goalscorer in the 48th minute, taking a pass from Scott, advancing on net and firing past Lawday.
Rampant Raiders made it four goals in seven minutes when Ayliffe set up Sylvester for his second of the night, but Ross Bowers teed up Trevor Leblanc for a shot that rang the pipework at the other end with just under 10 minutes remaining.
Sylvester completed his treble from Liam Chong’s pass – making it five goals in under 11 minutes for the visitors as shortbenched Thunder began to tire.
Green fired wide while Barnes-Garner and Leblanc had shots saved by Clements in the closing stages as the hosts looked for some consolation, with Rubes firing over in the final minute.
But Thunder had the final say 30 seconds from time as Barnes-Garner claimed their fifth goal, with Raiders losing Wells to a match penalty for fighting in the aftermath, as the MK goalscorer picked up a cross-checking minor and 10-minute penalty for incitement.
Raiders return to Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre to host leaders Swindon on Sunday (5.30pm).