Ice Hockey: Peterborough 6 Raiders 4
PUBLISHED: 20:26 15 December 2019 | UPDATED: 20:26 15 December 2019
Everyone Active Raiders slipped to a fourth successive defeat at the hands of Peterborough in the National League on Sunday.
But having suffered 10-1, 6-1 and 7-4 losses in their previous meetings, they almost pulled off a great comeback in the final period before ending up empty handed once again.
Face-off was delayed for 30 minutes due to Raiders being held up en route, but they took the lead after just 58 seconds through Blaho Novak.
Jack Flynn was binned for cross-checking with just over five minutes played, with Lukas Sladkovsky breaking for a shorthanded chance, only to be denied by Jordan Marr.
And Phantoms subsequently levelled on the power play through James Ferrara.
Callum Wells fired wide from long range for the visitors, before Brandon Ayliffe was called for slashing to give the hosts another man advantage.
And they needed only 15 seconds to make it count as Ferrara found space on the left and centred for defenceman Tom Norton to beat young Ethan James at close range.
Ales Padelek fired over from close to the net soon after, before Raiders defenceman Olegs Lascenko was given a tripping penalty.
And Phantoms made them pay once again as Nathan Pollard netted the home side's third power play goal of the opening period.
Padelek was then given a hooking penalty and Aaron Connolly hit back on the Raiders power play with a fine shot from the left wing, with Brandon Ayliffe denied an equaliser by Marr in the closing seconds of the period.
A poor start to the middle session left Raiders with a mountain to climb, though, as Sladkovsky was binned for slashing in the first minute and Phantoms moved 4-2 up as Padelek found the net.
And a fifth home goal followed soon after from Will Weldon, with the first even strength effort of the night.
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Jack Cooper blocked a shot from Martins Susters in the next passage of play, while Marr denied Mason Webster at the other end.
But Raiders lost Flynn to a delay of game minor just before the midway point and although they killed that off, they then lost Sean Barry on a holding call within seconds of returning to full strength.
Having survived a second successive shorthanded spell, Raiders went on the power play when Joe Gretton was given a hooking penalty, only to see it negated 21 seconds later by a slashing call against Novak.
Jake Sylvester had a shot blocked by Marr during the 4-on-4, before Norton went to the box on a slashing call.
But Raiders, who saw James produce a man of the amtch display in Saturday's 6-3 home win over Hull, had to thank the 20-year-old goalie for a great save on Gareth O'Flaherty, before the two sides were back at full strength.
And when Lascenko picked out Sylvester at the far post, his shot was smothered by Marr, although Raiders felt the puck had crossed the line.
Corey McEwen fired wide in the final minute of the period but Phantoms went to the lockerroom with a three-goal lead to take into the last 20 minutes of the match.
And Norton fired a left-wing shot wide after the restart, before Webster's hit on Ross Clarke incensed Phantoms and led to a scrap with Gretton.
Webster was ejected with a match penalty for checking from behind, while also picking up four minutes for fighting along with Gretton.
And that left Raiders shorthanded for a five-minute major, before Brad Bowering was binned for interference for the hosts.
Ayliffe broke away on Marr, but the Phantoms goalie had it covered as Raiders successfully killed off the Webster penalty and then cut the gap to two as Sladkovsky netted from Novak's assist with 7.26 left on the clock.
Raiders were left a man short again when Cooper was binned for slashing with just under six minutes to play, but Sladkovsky struck again on the penalty kill to leave them just one behind with 4.51 remaining.
James saved from McEwen as the match headed towards its final two minutes and was then withdrawn for an extra skater with 47 seconds left on the clock.
But the move backfired for Raiders as McEwen fired into the empty net with 20 seconds to go to seal the points for the home side.