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Ice hockey: Raiders 4 Bracknell 3 (OT)

PUBLISHED: 19:52 23 February 2020 | UPDATED: 19:52 23 February 2020

Raiders celebrate (pic John Scott)

Raiders celebrate (pic John Scott)

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Everyone Active Raiders completed a four-point weekend against play-off chasing rivals Bracknell in dramatic fashion on Sunday.

Raiders celebrate (pic John Scott)Raiders celebrate (pic John Scott)

Having beaten the Bees 2-0 in their own barn on Saturday night, Raiders were a goal down after 40 minutes back at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre.

Two goals in just over two minutes from Erik Piatak turned the match in their favour in the final period, though, and Lukas Sladkovsky looked to have sealed the points when making it 3-1 with 94 seconds to go.

But Bracknell scored twice in the last 29 seconds of the match to force overtime, before Sladkovsky won it for the hosts.

Raiders now have a two-point cushion over their rivals in the race for eighth place, with eight games to play in the National League regular season

Raiders forward Mason Webster (pic John Scott)Raiders forward Mason Webster (pic John Scott)

Jack Cooper fired wide from the left in the early stages, with Piatak also off target before a hard hit by Jack Flynn on Josh Martin.

Bracknell went on the power play when Sean Barry was binned for cross checking, but Piatak and Aaron Connolly broke on a shorthanded chance, which Edward Knaggs denied.

Adam Goss saved a low blue line drive from Dan Fuller, while Flynn fired past the post before Ethan James thwarted Roman Malinik at the other end.

But after Ollie Baldock saw a shot from the left come to nothing, Raiders fell behind in the 16th minute as Dominik Gabaj put Bees in front with an unassisted effort.

Raiders goalie Ethan James (pic John Scott)Raiders goalie Ethan James (pic John Scott)

Connolly fired a right-wing shot across the face of Goss' goal and Jake Sylvester was also off-target from Baldock's face-off win before Mason Webster and James Galazzi traded blows late in the opening period.

Both received four minutes for fighting, with Connolly shooting just wide in the closing seconds of the session.

Bracknell's Joe Baird was given a roughing penalty on the buzzer, with Piatak having a shot blocked at the start of the middle session.

Gabaj was then given a slashing penalty to hand Raiders another power play, but James had to block a left-wing shot from Martin before Olegs Lascenko saw a shot through traffic blocked.

Raiders defenceman Olegs Lascenko (pic John Scott)Raiders defenceman Olegs Lascenko (pic John Scott)

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Sladkovsky had a shot held by Goss and, after James denied Martin once more, Sylvester sent a left-wing shot wide of the mark.

Goss denied Connolly, while Sladkovsky and Ranson also tried their luck to no avail just before the game's midway point.

And after Gabaj had a low shot blocked by James, Raiders saw Baldock, Brandon Ayliffe and Sladkovsky spurn further chances.

Goss saved from JJ Pitchley and Sylvester in the closing minutes of the period as Bees protected their slender lead heading back to the lockerrooms.

And Goss was at it again at the start of the final period, blocking Sladkovsky and Ayliffe befoer Flynn was called for charging to hand Bees a power play.

Malinik sent a blue line shot wide, before Piatak tried to set up Lascenko for a shorthanded chance and Novak was off-target for the hosts.

And Goss denied Ayliffe once again, before Raiders finally got back on terms through Piatak in the 48th minute.

Pitchley forced a glove save from Goss before Baird was binned for tripping and Raiders took the lead on the power play as Piatak struck again.

Bracknell called a timeout and thought they had levelled matters once more with eight minutes remaining, only for the officials to rule it out for a high stick.

James saved from Knaggs, as the clock ticked down to the five-minute mark, and Zack Milton had a shot blocked en route to goal before James denied Stuart Mogg.

And after Ayliffe shot wide, Sladkovsky made it 3-1 with an unassisted goal with just 94 seconds in the match.

That should have been that, but Bracknell pulled Goss for an extra skater and hit back with 29 seconds to go through Josh Ealey-Newman.

Then, in dramatic scenes, they tied it up at 3-3 with only 13 seconds left as Gabaj beat James to force overtime.

Dan Scott forced a glove save from Goss with a hard shot, before Raiders won it thanks to Sladkovsky's second goal of the night in the second minute of the extra period.

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