Ice Hockey: Raiders 2 Swindon 6
PUBLISHED: 20:01 27 January 2019
Everyone Active Raiders were hit for six by National League Division One leaders Swindon on Sunday.
Having come from two goals down to earn an 8-5 win at MK Thunder the night before, Raiders were without young defenceman Callum Wells, who had picked up a match penalty in the final minute.
And the game at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre was only 41 seconds old when Ollie Baldock was binned for tripping, handing Swindon an early power play chance.
Although they could not capitalise, the visitors took the lead soon after the penalty expired through Aaron Nell.
Max Birbraer was called for interference, giving the hosts the man advantage, and Blaho Novak saw a shot on the turn blocked by Renny Marr before Neil Liddiard was called for high sticks.
Aaron Connolly fired wide during the brief spell of 5-on-3 and Dan Scott had a hard shot blocked by Marr, before Chris Jones fired wide of Michael Gray’s net at the other end.
Raiders were unable to profit from a hooking penalty against Floyd Taylor, as referee Stephen Matthews kept himself busy, and Gray made saves from Steve Whitfield and Toms Rutkis before Jack Cooper was binned for high sticks.
The hosts saw Novak and Connolly spurn a breakaway chance during Swindon’s power play, while Edgars Bebris missed the target for Wildcats before Nell departed on a hooking call.
Swindon’s penalty killers did their job again and Nell sent a quick shot over the crossbar on his return to the ice as his fourth-minute goal remained the difference between the sides at the first break.
The middle session was barely 90 seconds old when Swindon doubled their lead as former Raider Chris Jones netted, assisted by Birbraer and Liddiard.
Jake Sylvester was then stripped of the puck by veteran blue liner Liddiard as he wound up to shoot, while JJ Pitchley had a shot blocked by Marr before being called for elbows.
Gray kicked out a long-range blast from Sam Jones before the penalty expired and Baldock was binned for slashing, with Nell lifting the puck over the net and Jones sending a long shot wide.
Jones was then binned for the Wildcats and Connolly fired wide before Raiders struck through Juraj Huska, assisted by Novak and Connolly.
The penalties continued to mount as Mason Webster was given a roughing minor, but Raiders levelled things up while shorthanded through Brandon Ayliffe.
Swindon still made the power play count, though, as Bebris netted on assists from Jonas Hoog and Chris Jones to restore their lead in the 35th minute.
Gray blocked Bebris moments later, before the visitors were caught with too many men on the ice, handing Raiders another power play chance.
The home side could not make much impact, though, and Gray denied Hoog at close range, before Huska sent a late chance too high.
Dan Scott saw a long-range kicked away by Marr early in the final period and Baldock had another effort blocked before Huska was called for interference.
But Raiders killed the penalty off and saw Gray deny Bebris, before Liddiard and Webster exchanged words in the corner.
Marr kept out two shots from Scott in quick succession and also denied Connolly at close range, before Sam Godfrey and Filip Sedivy clashed by the Swindon net and picked up roughing minors with just over 10 minutes left on the clock.
And Raiders saw their hopes of salvaging something from the game hit seconds after the penalties expired as Hoog netted Swindon’s fourth.
Pitchley fired straight at Marr as the hosts tried to find a quick reply, but it was 5-2 with just over five minutees remaining as Tyler Plews scored from Birbraer and Rutkis assists.
And after Bebris was binned for roughing, the Wildcats added a shorthaned sixth through Whitfield to rub salt into the Raiders wounds.