Old boys help down Raiders
PUBLISHED: 22:07 12 December 2015 | UPDATED: 22:07 12 December 2015
National League: London Raiders 1 Invicta Dynamos 3
Former Raiders Jacob Ranson and Josh Condren netted against their old club to help Invicta to victory at Lee Valley.
The hosts, looking to extend a three-match winning run, took the lead through captain Tom Davis in the 12th minute, but Ranson replied with just 14 seconds left in the opening period.
And Condren put the visitors in front in the 24th minute, before Steve Osman’s shorthanded effort sealed the points with just over 11 minutes remaining.
Ranson, a three-time player of the year for Raiders last season, had the first chance of note after juggling the puck over the blue line but whistling his shot wide.
Raiders lost Bailey Chittock to a hooking penalty with barely a minute gone, but Michael Gray held on to Andy Henderson’s shot and smothered the puck after Ondrej Zosiak stickhandled his way into a dangerous position.
Rio Grinell-Parke forced a blocker save from Damien King at the other end of the ice, before departing on a harsh looking interference call, but Marek Nahlik pounced on a loose puck while Raiders were shorthanded and saw his slapshot kicked away by King.
Gray kicked out Eriks Ozollapa’s effort, before Liam Chong led a counter and saw his pass swept home by Michal Oravec, only for referee Blaine Evans to call the play offside and disallow the goal.
Grinell-Parke came out of the penalty box to force a good save from King, whole also foiled Nahlik’s wraparound attempt and another effort from the Slovakian.
But Raiders opened the scoring soon after when Oravec attacked on the left and played a cute pass through the legs of an Invicta defenceman for Davis to skate on to and fire past King from the left face-off circle to give his side the lead.
Gray denied Zosiak, Osman and Ozollapa as the visitors looked to respond, but there was no stopping Ranson’s clever redirection of a Nicky Lewis centring feed from the left just before the break.
Buoyed by their equaliser, Invicta made a bright start to the middle session and Gray grabbed Zosiak’s low shot before Conor Redmond went close to deflecting Condren’s pass home.
The duo combined again moments later, though, and Condren lifted the puck over Gray’s shoulder and just under the crossbar to put Dynamos in front.
Osman was a whisker away from making it 3-1, before Oravec was binned for hooking Condren and Gray was called upon to keep out Ozollapa and Zosiak attempts.
Frankie Harvey then caught King after he skated out of his net to play the puck to give Invicta a spell of 5-on-3, during which Arran Strawson forced a stick save from Gray.
Dynamos then lost Lewis and Ranson to holding and holding the stick minor penalties, just 14 seconds apart, but Raiders could only muster one shot on goal during their two-man advantage and Robbie Veares saw his effort kicked out by King.
Gray thwarted Redmond at close range, before King kept out Oravec and Chittock with a double save before tempers boiled over.
Davis and Ozollapa had clashed on the boards in the Invicta zone and Invicta’s Latvian import was then left on his knees after a face-off, before skating back into London’s zone and cross-checking Davis to earn a match penalty.
A high-sticking call against Osman, after he caught Harvey, gave Raiders another 5-on-3 early in the final session, but Mason Webster fired their best chance over as Invicta’s penalty-killers did their job well once again.
King denied Nahlik and Webster with another impressive double save, before Gray made a stunning reflex save to keep the puck out of his net when Lewis saw his centre hit the skates of David Oliver.
Ranson was binned for hooking at 47:15 and Chong fired a bullet of a shot into the glove hand of King, before Osman broke out and saw his backhand shot hit the pads of Gray and the puck loop up and back into the net for a shorthanded third.
Raiders never looked like getting back into the match after that, failing to capitalise on another powerplay chance when Henderson was binned for delay of game, and will hope for better when they play host to Chelmsford in the South East Trophy on Sunday night (5.30pm).
Scorers, Raiders: Tom Davis 1 Michal Oravec* 0+1 Liam Chong 0+1.
Invicta: Jacob Ranson 1 Josh Condren 1 Steve Osman 1 Nicky Lewis 0+1 Ondrej Zosiak* 0+1 Conor Redmond 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 12 Invicta 47.
Shots on goal: Michael Gray (L) 12-14-8=34-3 Damien King 9-9-9=27-1.