Ice Hockey: Raiders 4 Telford 5 (after pens)
PUBLISHED: 19:55 23 November 2019 | UPDATED: 19:55 23 November 2019
Everyone Active Raiders lost a penalty shoot-out against National League leaders Telford after a thrilling contest at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre.
Home-grown heroes Jack Cooper, JJ Pitchley and Jacob Ranson all netted their first goals of the season for the hosts, as they rallied from two goals down to force overtime through Jack Flynn's late goal.
But Dominik Florian and Brandon Whistle - son of former Raiders import Dave - netted penalties for Tigers to ensure they skated off with two points.
The home side saw Pitchley force Brad Day into the first save of the night with barely 30 seconds played while Michael Gray made a good save to deny Florian at the other end of the ice before Telford's Nicholas Oliver was called for holding the opponent's stick.
Raiders saw their power play cut short as Sean Barry was binned for tripping but the scoreline remained blank.
And both sides were reduced to four skaters again when Mason Webster and Andrew McKinney were called for roughing just past the midway mark.
Webster went back to the box on a slashing call soon after, handing Telford their first man advantage of their night, but Raiders killed that off, only to fall behind late in the period as Jason Silverthorn netted.
Gray denied McKinney a second goal, before a slashing call against Thomas McKinnon gave Raiders a power play chance either side of the break.
But the hosts could not capitalise and Dan Scott had to block a shot from Florian before Pitchley squared matters with his first goal of the campaign.
Raiders were behind again just 31 seconds later, though, as Finley Howells restored Telford's lead, assisted by Whistle and Silverthorn.
Gray kicked awy a shot by Oliver Lord, before Pitchley was binned for slashing, and Raiders had a shorthanded chance as Erik Piatak and Sean Barry combined.
Scott McKenzie could not convert Whistle's pass at the far post before Pitchley's return and Gray denied the former Raider, while Brandon Ayliffe tested Day.
Jake Sylvester saw a good shot saved by Day, while Olegs Lascenko fired wide from the blue line, but Raiders fell further behind when Adam Taylor netted in the 34th minute.
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However, the hosts hit back just 44 seconds later as defenceman Cooper netted a rare goal, assisted by Webster and Scott, and Lord was given a slashing penlaty when Piatak went down.
Silverthorn was given a minor penalty for a face-off violation, handing Raiders a spell of 5-on-3, and Sylvester saw a shot blocked.
And Scott also saw a shot through a crowd come to nothing, while Blaho Novak, Aaron Connolly and Ayliffe also went unrewarded before Sylvester and Florian were binned for roughing and cross-checking just before the buzzer after a clash in front of Telford's net.
The final period was less than a minute old when Tigers went 4-2 up through Silverthorn, but Raiders rallied as Ranson opened his account for the campaign, following some discussion between the officials.
Day kicked away a shot from Connolly, with Ranson sending another effort just over the net before Florian was binned for high sticks.
But Tigers held firm as Day denied Sylvester, before Barry was banished for high sticks and Gray had to save from Ross Kennedy and Florian, while Corey Goodison fired wide.
Day kept out a wraparound attempt from Piatak before Barry's return to the ice for the last eight minutes of the match.
And Daniel Rose fired wide for the visitors, before Cooper's long shot was deflected goalwards where Day made the save and Lukas Sladkovsky was also denied at the far post by the Tigers goalie from Barry's pass.
Jack Flynn also fired a shot wide, but then got Raiders back on terms with just over four minutes remaining, with Webster and Novak gaining assists on the goal.
And Gray covered the puck as Whistle pressed inside the final two minutes, before Kennedy and Lord were called for interference and hooking and Raiders coach Sean Easton called a timeout with 29 seconds left on the clock, with his side on a 5-on-3 power play.
They could not make it count before the end of regulation time, but remained with a two-man advantage at the start of overtime and saw Piatak and Scott have shots blocked.
Kennedy was called for hooking soon after his return from the box, handing Raiders another power play chance, with Scott seeing two more shots blocked and saved, before Novak went close against his former club as Day produced another save.
But it went to penalty shots and McKenzie missed, while Day denied Sladkovsky before Florian found the net and Piatak had his effort blocked.
Whistle then sealed victory with a second successful shot for the Tigers to set up an intriguing return meeting in Telford on Sunday night.
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