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Ice Hockey: Raiders 2 Basingstoke 6

PUBLISHED: 19:44 08 December 2019 | UPDATED: 19:44 08 December 2019

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly in action against Basingstoke (pic John Scott)

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly in action against Basingstoke (pic John Scott)

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Everyone Active Raiders slipped to their second defeat of the weekend in the National League on Sunday.

Well beaten at Bracknell on Saturday, they rallied from two goals down to draw level with the Bison at Romford's Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre.

But the visitors showed a more clinical edge in front of goal and three goals in the last eight minutes gave them a flattering margin of victory.

Raiders were handed an early power play chance when Elliot Dewey was called for hooking and Blaho Novak forced Alex Mettam into a good pad save at close range.

But Jacob Ranson was then harshly binned for hooking and followed to the penalty box soon after by teammate Olegs Lascenko, for the same offence.

And Bison made their 5-on-3 count as the puck was played out from behind the net to Ashley Tait, whose first-time shot gave Michael Gray no chance in the home net.

The visitors doubled their advantage while still enjoying a man advantage, moving the puck well in the zone before Liam Morris touched home at the side of Gray's net.

And Jake Sylvester missed a great chance to hit back for the home side, pushing the puck wide of an inviting net from the bottom of the left face-off circle, before Alex Sampford's high stick on Lascenko gave Raiders another power play.

Erik Piatak was denied close in by Mettam and Mason Webster shot wide on a 3-on-1 chance early in the middle period.

JJ Pitchley and Sam Smith were then binned for roughing and high sticking penalties respectively, with Tom Ralph called for a trip on Lukas Sladkovsky.

And Raiders halved the deficit after passing the puck around well in the zone, before captain Aaron Connolly netted on his backhand.

Mettam held onto a Sladkovsky shot, after he intercepted a stray Bison pass out of the corner, before Dewey was binned for tripping Novak.

And Raiders drew level with their second power play goal of the night, as Piatak whipped a loose puck past Mettam from Dan Scott's quick pass.

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Bison were back in front just 37 seconds later, though, as a deflected shot wrongfooted Gray, who made the pad save, but saw Tait tap home at the post.

A holding call against Ollie Baldock was killed off, before Bison were caught with too many men on the ice.

But Sladkovsky was denied by Mettam on the Raiders power play and Piatak fizzed a shot just wide, before Webster was binned in the final minute for a late hit.

Gray kept out a shot from Adam Jones at the start of the third period, as Raiders survived their shorthanded spell, and Ranson tested Mettam from Syylvester's cross-ice pass soon after.

Jack Flynn thundered a slapshot into the pads of Mettam, before Jones was called for holding to give Raiders a power play chance with just over three minutes gone in the period.

But the home side struggled to piece together any meaningful offence until Piatak's snap shot in the closing seconds of the penalty was blockered away.

Pitchley cut inside to force a pad save from Mettam, with Morris catching Connolly with a high stick as he looked for the rebound to give Raiders another power play at 46.44.

But Sylvester was unable to get enough stick on Piatak's cross-crease pass, while Connolly fired against the crossbar and sent another effort just wide as Raiders enjoyed a better spell of pressure.

And former Raider Marek Malinsky made them pay when whipping home a loose puck after a scrappy passage of play in the home zone to make it 4-2, before Piatak turned the puck over to Michal Klejna on the blue line and he skated in to beat Gray for Basingstoke's fifth soon after.

Morris added a shorthanded sixth with just under three minutes remaining, after Mettam had been called for holding Connolly, to rub salt into the Raiders wounds.

Raiders: Erik Piatak* 1+1, Aaron Connolly 1, Dan Scott 0+2..

Bison: Ashley Tait 2+1, Liam Morris 2+1, Michal Klejna* 1+1, Marek Malinsky* 1, Adam Harding 0+2, Hallam Wilson 0+1, Alex Sampford 0+1, Ryan Sutton 0+1, Oliver Stone 0+1.

Penalty minutes: Raiders 18 Bison 24.

Shots on goal: Michael Gray (R) 10-12-11=33-6; Alex Mettam (B) 13-14-12=39-2.

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