Ice Hockey: Oxford City Stars 3 Raiders 5
PUBLISHED: 20:56 31 March 2019 | UPDATED: 20:56 31 March 2019
Everyone Active Raiders ended their debut season in style with victory over National League Division Two rivals Oxford on Sunday.
The Stars had won 10 of their previous 12 home matches at the Oxpens Road rink this term and still had hopes of a late title charge, but found Brad Windebank in fine form between the posts, making 47 saves.
Former Raiders captain Tom Davis was binned on a cross-checking penalty with only 42 seconds gone and Jake Florey followed for roughing soon after the hosts returned to full strength.
But Raiders could not capitalise on their early power play chances, before taking the lead through Sam Austin in the ninth minute.
Oxford’s Josh Oliver and Raiders’ Callum Burnett were binned 15 seconds apart towards the end of the first period for late hit and charging penalties and the hosts levelled in the final minute as Matt Lawday converted Michal Oravec’s pass.
Burnett was back in the box just 28 seconds into the middle session on a holding call, but Raiders regained the lead through Ewan Hill once back to full strength.
The visitors joy was shortlived as Oxford levelled just 11 seconds later through Oliver, assisted by Oravec, but Raiders were back in front less than a minute after as Brandon Webster found the net on a delayed 2+10 penalty call for boarding against Alex Staples.
Windebank produced a smart glove save to deny Lawday before Raiders lost Burnett on an interference call and came under heavy pressure on the power play.
And Windebank denied Dax Hedges from Oravec’s cross-crease pass and Raiders went 4-2 up as George Gell struck.
Josh Florey replied with a first-time shot from another Oravec pass just over three minutes remaining in the period, before Hedges and Austin were binned on coincidental holding minors.
But Stars lost Florey to a goaltender interference penalty in the final minute, before Raiders saw Austin binned for holding.
Raiders hit the metalwork early in the final period, then lost Jake Hall to a late hit penalty.
But they survived the shorthanded spell and weathered plenty of Oxford pressure before sealing a superb 5-3 win with just under three minutes to go as Webster netted his second of the night.
Scorers, Oxford: Josh Oliver 1+1, Josh Florey 1, Matt Lawday 1, Michal Oravec* 0+2, Stewart Tait 0+1.
Raiders: Brandon Webster 2, Sam Austin 1+2, George Gell 1, Ewan Hill 1, Tommy Huggett 0+3, Sam Roberts 0+1, Callum Burnett 0+1.
Shots on goal: Daniel Treuherz (O) 10-13-7=30-5; Brad Windebank (R) 14-14-22=50-3.
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