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Oliver relishing Raiders play-off test

PUBLISHED: 15:20 30 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:58 02 April 2015

London Raiders captain Tom Davis (left) looks on as David Oliver keeps a close eye on a Cardiff rival in front of the net (pic: Danny Oxley)

London Raiders captain Tom Davis (left) looks on as David Oliver keeps a close eye on a Cardiff rival in front of the net (pic: Danny Oxley)

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Defenceman excited by Chelmsford dates

London Raiders defenceman David Oliver looks down at a fallen Cardiff rival (pic: Danny Oxley)London Raiders defenceman David Oliver looks down at a fallen Cardiff rival (pic: Danny Oxley)

London Raiders defenceman David Oliver felt his side played some of their best hockey of the season in the 3-3 draw with Cardiff at the weekend.

But he knows they will have to play even better in their National League play-off quarter-final against champions Chelmsford if they are to progress next weekend.

Third-period goals from Alan Lack and Stephen Deacon allowed Raiders to come from two goals down and earn a point against their Welsh rivals, who finished with the wooden spoon.

And Oliver said: “Saturday’s game was a bit like a play-off game, but we didn’t play well until the last 20 minutes, which was some of our best hockey all season.

“We had everything in that last period. It was just like a play-off match and this weekend is why we play ice hockey.

“In play-off hockey all form goes out the window, both rinks will be packed on Saturday and Sunday.”

Raiders have lost all four of their meetings with Chelmsford this season, but all four fixtures were played before the turn of the year and the team has undergone some significant changes since.

Import forward Jakub Kostelansky, goalie Chris Douglas and British forwards Grant Taylor and Alan Lack have all been added to the Raiders line-up since their December 28 defeat to the Chieftains.

And Oliver admits he is relishing the chance to upset the number one seeds this weekend.

He added: “You can’t beat a Raiders-Chieftains play-off game.

“Playing at home first gives as a boost but we all have to turn up and play for the whole 120 minutes.

“This season has been up and down but hopefully we can get a few goals up and take it to the Riverside on Sunday.

“Play-off hockey isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.”


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