Ice hockey: Raiders 6 Basingstoke 4
PUBLISHED: 19:46 09 February 2020 | UPDATED: 19:46 09 February 2020
Everyone Active Raiders completed a three-point weekend in the National League with victory over Basingstoke at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday.
Having let victory slip from their grasp in Swindon and suffered an overtime loss the night before, Raiders gave their play-off hopes a boost by beating the Bison back on home ice.
And the win kept them three points clear of Bracknell, who beat Swindon 3-2, in the race for eighth place, with 12 matches remaining.
Blaho Novak was called for slashing inside two minutes, but was followed to the penalty box by Adam Jones on a cross-checking minor soon after to leave the sides skating 4-on-4.
Jay King was then banished on a tripping minor to give the hosts a power play chance, including a short spell of 5-on-3 which they made count as Erik Piatak struck assisted by Aaron Connolly and Novak.
Bison were back on terms less than 90 seconds later as Sean Norris netted, but they could not capitalise on a tripping call against Jacob Ranson and saw Ollie Baldock restore the home side's lead.
Hallam Wilson was binned for holding an opponent's stick and Raiders went 3-1 up on the power play through Jake Sylvester, forcing Bison to call a timeout.
Lukas Sladkovsky had a shot saved by Alex Mettam before Novak went back to the box on a holding call but Raiders survived as Richard Bordowski hit a post.
Mettam denied Sylvester, while Mason Webster blocked a Michal Klejna shot at the other end of the ice before Bison claimed their second goal through Bordowski.
Raiders, outshot 14-10 in the first period, were on the power play early in the middle session when Bison were caught with too many men on the ice.
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But the visitors killed it off and saw Paul Petts shoot wide, before Mettam made a good save on JJ Pitchley.
Samuel Talbot was unable to get a tip on a blueline effort from Liam Morris, while Ethan James made a good stop on Norris from Ashley Tait's cross-ice pass just past the midway mark.
And Piatak had a low shot blocked by Mettam, before James kept out King's effort and covered the puck.
Petts was called for roughing towards the end of the period, after a bit of a scramble in the corner, but Raiders could not make their extra man count and Ryan Sutton directed a pass from Petts goalwards where James blocked again.
Sutton was then sent to the penalty box on a hooking call, with Olegs Lascenko seeing a blue line shot saved by Mettam as the scoreline remained unchanged.
But Lascenko was binned for holding early in the final period, although Bison were unable to make much of an impact and saw Jones fire a long shot wide once the sides were back at even strength.
A delay of game penalty against Webster gave the visitors another man advantage and Jones had a shot blocked, before Sladkovsky netted a shorthanded goal to put Raiders 4-2 up.
Sean Barry was then binned for holding an opponent's stick and Bison capitalised through Bordowski only for Pitchley to restore the two-goal cushion just 13 seconds later.
Raiders conceded a fourth to Talbot another just 38 seconds more had elapsed, making it three goals in under a minute to leave the match on a knife edge.
And Dan Fuller tangled with Norris inside the final four minutes, with both picking up cross-checking minors to leave the sides skating 4-on-4.
Klejna, ejected from the previous weekend's meeting in Hampshire with a match penalty, was binned for holding an opponent's stick inside the last two minutes and returned to the Bison dressing room, followed by Tait, after both received 10-minute misconduct penalties for abuse of official.
And Raiders made it 6-4 just seven seconds into the power play thanks to Piatak to seal the points and avenge their overtime defeat from eight days earlier.