Ice hockey: Raiders 5 Invicta 4
PUBLISHED: 22:08 21 December 2019 | UPDATED: 22:08 21 December 2019
Romford Junior Raiders ensured a happy Christmas with a fourth successive win in National League Division One on Saturday.
Having lost two previous meetings with Invicta by the odd goal in nine, they followed up wins over Cardiff, Oxford and Bracknell to end the year on a high note.
Barely a minute had been played when an unmarked Ewan Hill put Raiders ahead from close range and they had some good loooks during an early power play, after shortstaffed Dynamos were caught with too many men on the ice.
Jan Marcilis rang the mask of Zach Grandy-Smith with one effort, before the visitors got back on terms seconds after returning to full strength as Elliot Farrell countered and found former Raiders captain Tom Davis, who squeezed the puck past Jacob Stoodley.
Harrison Lillis hit the outside of a post with a speculative shot from the right point, while Tommy Huggett thudded a shot into the chest of Grandy-Smith before the visitors countered and Tomas Banovsky fired in off the right post in the seventh minute.
Stoodley denied Brandon Webster, while Grandy-Smith thwarted Huggett with a blocker save before Ross Cowan was given a 2+10 penalty for boarding by the Dynamos bench and Webster joined him in the box with an unsportsmanlike conduct minor.
Farrell flashed a wristshot into the top corner during the spell of 4-on-4 to put Dynamos 3-1 up, but Raiders replied soon after as captain Sam Roberts worked hard to set up Matt Brown on the edge of the crease.
Vilius Krakauskas tested Grandy-Smith on a delayed penalty call against Webster, for holding Donald Campbell, late in the first period, but Raiders could not capitalise on the power play.
The home side squared matters inside three minutes of the middle session, though, as Marcilis beat Grandy-Smith with a wrist shot after cutting in from the right.
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And they went back on the power play when Conor Redmond was called for tripping Stevie Dunnage behind the Raiders net, regaining the lead through Marcilis.
Stoodley kicked out a shot from Banovsky, while Krakuskas stepped into space and fizzed the puck over the Dynamos crossbar, before Dynamos were caught with too many men on the ice for a second time.
But the power play lasted only 16 seconds as Joe Allen was called for interference, after knocking a defenceman's stick out of his hands along the end boards.
And Dynamos made their brief spell with an extra man count as Lillis sent a wristshot past Stoodley from the blue line, with just over four minutes left in the period.
Raiders were back in front two minutes later, though, as Huggett advanced on the right wing, with Allen in support, and ripped a stunning shot into the far top corner of the net.
It was a goal worthy of winning any game and, as it turned out, it proved decisive as the final period did not produce any addition to the scoreline.
Raiders: Jan Marcilis* 2+1, Ewan Hill 1+2, Matt Brown 1, Tommy Huggett 1, Donald Campbell 0+2, Ross Cowan 0+2, Sam Roberts 0+1, Abbie Sylvester 0+1.
Invicta: Elliot Farrell 1+1, Tomas Banovsky* 1, Tom Davis 1, Harrison Lillis 1, Luke Thirkettle 0+2, Jake Stedman 0+1, Joe Stephenson 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 24 Invicta 14.
Shots on goal: Jacob Stoodley (R, 59.54) 13-19-11=43-4, Zach Grandy-Smith (I, 59.27) 17-13-16=46-5, empty net (0.33) 0-0.