Oliver pleased as Raiders rally
PUBLISHED: 09:30 25 November 2015
Defenceman reflects on ‘lot better weekend’
London Raiders defenceman David Oliver was much happier after seeing his side beat National League rivals Solent on Sunday.
Oliver had criticised some of the team’s senior players following defeats against Chelmsford and Invicta earlier this month, but noticed a big improvement at the weekend.
Raiders were unfortunate to finish up empty-handed after a 4-3 loss to the Isle of wight on Saturday, but Oliver said: “It was a lot better weekend all around.
“Saturday was a great game of hockey and I feel we should have came out with the win. We started like a house on fire, with two quick goals in the first six minutes and going into the second I felt we were on top.
“But Isle of Wight got a very lucky goal with the puck coming off the glass and into the empty net and then their third goal we just didn’t steady the ship in time.”
Michal Oravec’s quickfire brace had put Raiders on top early on, but Wight hit back before the end of the first period and struck twice in nine seconds to move 3-2 up.
Mason Webster’s powerplay goal squared matters at the start of the final session, but Craig Tribe’s second goal of the night won it for Wight.
Oliver added: “We showed great fight getting it back to 3-3, but when pushing for the winner we got caught on the break.
“Like every game there were some great positives to take in our penalty-killing, the only thing we have to look at is shooting the puck at the right time and not getting outshot at home.”
Captain Tom Davis and Oravec netted 15 seconds apart at Solent, before the home side replied.
And Raiders remained in front before Davis added a late empty-net goal to secure the points.
Oliver paid tribute to the skipper, adding: “Sunday’s game was a great team performance in a big four-pointer, we once more showed great fight from the start of the game.
“Everyone chipped in and played their part and Tommy D had one of his best games all season.
“Tommy was playing forward, covering Frankie Harvey, and showed he hasn’t lost his forward’s touch.
“Like Saturday our penalty-killing was great, killing 12 minutes in the first period. Everyone was on their game from the off, we all stuck together, stuck to our jobs and came out with a big away win.”
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