Ice Hockey: Raiders 3 Basingstoke 4 (after pens)
PUBLISHED: 20:04 17 November 2019 | UPDATED: 20:04 17 November 2019
Former Raider Marek Malinsky netted the winning penalty shot to earn Basingstoke victory at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday.
Released by the Romford club earlier this season and signed by Bison as injury cover for Richard Bordowski, Malinsky kept his nerve to earn the visitors an extra point, after they fought back from 3-1 down.
Raiders took the ice without Callum Wells from the previous night's win in Milton Keynes, while Bison arrived after a free Saturday without George Norcliffe, Tom Ralph and Cameron Buckle.
And the hosts took an early lead as Erik Piatak redirected an Olegs Lascenko pass into the net with less than 90 seconds on the clock.
Raiders went on a power play when Adam Jones was called for hooking Aaron Connolly, but they struggled to get much going and Sean Barry saw a wristshot held by Dan Weller-Evans after good work from Jacob Ranson.
Bison came into the game more as the first period progressed, with Sam Talbot hitting a post and Michael Gray making a pad save on Michal Klejna.
Gray also blocked an Adam Harding shot and smothered the loose puck to get a stoppage, with the visitors building pressure.
And it was little surprise when Bison got back on level terms towards the end of the period as Alex Sampford cut in from the left past Jack Flynn and beat Gray at the near post.
Lascenko was called for hooking Ashley Tait soon after, but the Raiders penalty killers did their job and Gray denied Tait before the buzzer as Bison dominated the shot count 16-5.
Gray flashed his glove hand to deny Hallam Wilson early in the middle period, then made blocker saves on Josh Kelly and Klejna, before a hooking call against Tait gave Raiders another power play.
But despite some good puck movement in the offensive zone in the first part of their man advantage, the home side could not make it count and then lost Dan Scott to tripping and roughing minors.
They regained the lead while shorthanded, though, as Gray thwarted Tait on what was virtually a 3-on-0 chance, before Lukas Sladkovsky countered on the right wing and found Blaho Novak in support to slip the puck home.
Gray was credited with an assist on the goal and Raiders went close to another when Sean Barry's cross-ice pass found Novak for a one-timer, which Weller-Evans knocked aside.
The busy Gray held onto a wrist shot from Jones, then pouched an angled effort from the veteran Tait, before Brandon Ayliffe was binned for tripping.
But Raiders made light of their numerical disadvantage once more, thanks to a howler from Weller-Evans, who came out of his net to play the puck and proceeded to put it right on the stick of Connolly, who backhanded the gift gratefully into the gaping net.
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Gray had to be alert to keep out former Raider Marek Malinsky's wraparound attempt, with Sampford lurking for any loose puck.
But although Raiders killed off the Ayliffe penalty, the visitors cut the gap to one in the final minute of the period as Tait did well to find Talbot in front to beat Gray with a first-time effort.
Ranson almost restored the two-goal cushion with only a few seconds remaining on the clock, but his effort was kicked out by Weller-Evans, setting up an intriguing final stanza.
Gray denied Talbot as Bison enjoyed some good zone time at the start of the third session, but Jack Flynn's blast was kicked out at the other end as Ranson, Connolly and Sladkovsky put pressure on the net.
Sylvester was denied twice in quick succession, before Bailey Harewood was called for high sticks on Piatak, but the Raiders power play misfired again, before Connolly and Sladkovsky tested Weller-Evans.
Bison built pressure, though, and got their reward when patient passing picked out Klejna, who beat Gray with a superb shot into the top corner with just under five minutes remaining.
Neither side could find a winner in normal time but Raiders went close during the five-minute spell of 3-on-3 overtime, as Connolly's far-post attempt was kept out by Weller-Evans.
Jones was called for hooking Novak in front of goal, giving Raiders a power play chance for the final 41 seconds, and Piatak found space to get a backhand shot on net, but Weller-Evans was equal to it.
And so it went to penalty shots, with Klejna and Sladkovsky scoring the first two, before Harding, Piatak, Malinksy and Novak all missed.
That meant sudden death, but Sladkovsky hit a post, Klejna missed, Piatak found the glove, Harding and Sylvester fired wide, before Malinsky made sure.
Raiders: Erik Piatak* 1, Blaho Novak 1, Aaron Connolly 1, Olegs Lascenko 0+1, Brandon Ayliffe 0+1, Lukas Sladkovsky* 0+1, Michael Gray 0+1.
Bison: Michal Klejna* 1+1, Sam Talbot 1+1, Alex Sampford 1, Oliver Stone 0+1, Ashley Tait 0+1, Ryan Sutton 0+1, Josh Kelly 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 8 Bison 8.
Shots on goal: Michael Gray (R, 65.00) 16-17-10-3=46-3, Dan Weller-Evans (B, 65.00) 5-14-10-4=33-3.