Ice Hockey: Raiders 3 MK Lightning 4
PUBLISHED: 19:48 20 October 2019 | UPDATED: 19:48 20 October 2019
Everyone Active Raiders slipped to a fourth successive National League defeat as struggling MK Lightning struck a late power play goal to take the points at Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday.
Beaten 6-1 by Peterborough on Saturday, after conceding five power play goals, Raiders went into their second home match of the weekend without young defenceman Callum Wells, while the visitors arrived with 13 skaters and two goalies.
And Lightning, with only one win in their first eight games this season, struck first with only four minutes gone as Finnish import Ari Narhi broke to beat Michael Gray.
Olegs Lascenko, Aaron Connolly and Ollie Baldock all had efforts at goal in the following minutes, before the hosts went on the power play when Lewis Christie was called for slashing.
And Raiders were back on terms after a minute of their man advantage as Marek Malinsky claimed his first goal for the club, assisted by Jake Sylvester and Mason Webster.
A slashing penalty against Webster was then killed off, before Lightning were handed a bench minor penalty for having too many men on the ice.
And after enjoying some good pressure on the visiting net, Raiders took the lead on the power play as Lukas Sladkovsky beat Brandon Stones, with Ollie Baldock and Blaho Novak picking up assists on the goal.
A slashing penalty against Novak gave Lightning a power play to end the opening period, with Leigh Jamieson seeing two efforts saved by Michael Gray before the buzzer.
And Gray kept out Jamieson again early in the middle session, as well as Jordan Stokes, after he intercepted a pass and fired a hard shot goalwards.
Sladkovsky was too high at the other end of the ice for Raiders, before Lightning levelled through Narhi's second goal of the night, and the hosts then had to kill off a charging penalty against Jack Flynn.
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Baldock had a shot blocked, but Raiders then fell behind just past the midway mark as Calum Robertson netted a third Lightning goal, forcing coach Sean Easton to call a timeout.
Narhi had a hard shot saved by Gray, as the visitors looked to widen the gap, and Robertson was also denied after a shot on the turn.
Raiders were then caught with too many men on the ice, gifting the visitors a power play chance towards the end of the period, and tempers boiled over behind Gray's net, with Cale Tanaka earning an unsportsmanlike conduct minor to leave the sides skating 4-on-4.
And after killing off their bench penalty, Raiders got back on terms during the power play as assistant captain Dan Scott netted, assisted by Novak and Malinsky.
Ben Russell was then called for hooking with less than two minutes left on the clock, but Tomas Kana went closest to adding to the scoreline, only for Gray to take the puck away.
Raiders then went on the penalty kill early in the final period when Webster was given a 2+10 penalty for a check to the head and Gray had to make a save low down to thwart Tanaka.
It was the only chance of note, before Sylvester called Stones into action at the other end of the rink, but Raiders then lost Ross Connolly to an interference penalty, with just under 10 minutes left to play.
Sean Barry raced down the right and sent a tight angled shot at Stones, while Gray blocked a shot from former Raiders forward Rio Grinell-Parke and then got in the way of a Logan Prince effort once the sides were back at even strength.
Raiders rallied as Aaron Connolly tested Stones and Scott saw a blue line shot go close, but Novak was then called for hooking with just over six minutes remaining on the clock and they paid the penalty as Grinell-Parke converted on the Lightning power play, assisted by Tanaka and Jamieson.
Jacob Ranson and Sladkovsky had shots held by Stones as Raiders looked to reply, with time running out, and the hosts removed Gray for an extra skater in the closing stages.
But they could not get back on terms and endured another disappointing weekend without anything to show for their efforts.