Ice hockey: Raiders 3 Sheffield 5
PUBLISHED: 19:40 15 February 2020 | UPDATED: 19:40 15 February 2020
Everyone Active Raiders suffered a fourth defeat of the season at the hands of Sheffield on Saturday.
Only 56 seconds were on the clock when Nathan Salem put the visitors ahead and, although Raiders killed off a cross-checking penalty against Dan Fuller, James Spurr added a controversial second in the fifth minute.
Raiders were unable to capitalise on penalties against Vladimir Luka (interference) and Salem (hooking), as Dmitri Zimozdra denied Jake Sylvester.
Lukas Sladkovsky fired goalwards to no avail, before Sheffield's Jordan Griffin was called for hooking.
Ethan James had to be alert to deny Salem while the visitors were shorthanded, with Cochrane getting two bites of the cherry soon after, but unable to convert.
Erik Piatak shot wide from Aaron Connolly's pass before Jack Brammer was binned for slashing and Piatak missed the target on the power play.
And good defensive work by Sheffield denied Sladkovsky as he looked to convert a pass from Olegs Lascenko, while Fuller blocked a shot from Nathan Ripley at the other end.
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Zimozdra kept out Brandon Ayliffe and Connolly in the final minute of the opening period, then denied Jack Cooper and Mason Webster early in the middle session.
And Steeldogs went 3-0 up through Nathan Ripley in the 26th minute to leave Raiders with a mountain to climb.
Jack Flynn clashed with Lewis Bell, but Raiders survived the shorthanded spell only to see Jacob Ranson called for tripping with only six seconds left on the clock.
And Sheffield converted on the power play early in the final period through Spurr, before Ayliffe replied eight minutes from time, tipping in Lascenko's low shot.
Sylvester, Dan Scott and Piatak missed the target on a power play chance, when Cameron Brownley was called for tripping, and then lost Blaho Novak to a roughing penalty.
But Piatak scored a shorthanded second, with three minutes left in the match and Raiders pulled James for an extra skater in the closing stages after Reece Cochrane was binned for tripping.
Sean Barry cut the gap to one on the power play, but there were only 48 seconds left in the game at that point, and despite taking James back off, they saw Salem score an empty net goal to seal victory for Sheffield.
Raiders head to Peterborough on Sunday, having lost on all three of their previous trips.