Ice hockey: Raiders 6 Bracknell 5
PUBLISHED: 19:50 03 November 2019 | UPDATED: 20:36 03 November 2019
Mason Webster’s last-minute goal helped Everyone Active Raiders claim a dramatic National League win over Bracknell at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday.
The hosts looked to have thrown their chance of victory away, after squandering a three-goal lead in the final period.
But Webster was their late hero, deflecting in a shot from Jack Flynn as Raiders recorded their fifth success in 13 outings this season.
Raiders lined up without defenceman Ross Connolly, following his Achilles injury in Swindon the night before.
But after seeing Joe Baird and Ivan Antonov have early chances for the visitors, Dan Scott had a couple of efforts on goal, before Raiders opened the scoring in the fourth minute.
Jake Sylvester's shot from the right wing was blocked by Bees goalie Adam Goss, but Blaho Novak got to the loose puck to slot home.
Bees were back on terms in the eighth minute, though, as Robin Kovar beat Michael Gray and they took the lead midway through the period as Antonov found the net.
Raiders lost Lukas Sladkovsky to a tripping penalty, but Gray denied Antonov in close and Roman Malinik fired wide from range.
Bracknell's Zack Milton then picked up a 2+10 penalty for a check from behind, with home debutant Erik Piatak setting up Scott on the Raiders power play, only for his shot to be blocked.
Sylvester just couldn't connect with a Piatak pass at the far post - having converted a pass from the team's new import to seal a 3-2 win in Bracknell a week earlier - while Flynn's right wing effort was to no avail as the hosts went into the first break a goal behind.
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A tripping penalty against Joe Baird was killed off by the Bees at the start of the middle session, before Sean Barry saw a shot deflected off a Bracknell stick and Jacob Ranson was denied by Goss at close range.
Raiders were back on terms, though, when Sladkovsky scored, assisted by Olegs Lascenko, only to lose Piatak to a slashing minor.
The hosts survived that spell, then went on the power play when Will Stead was called for tripping and saw Lascenko put them ahead with a hard shot from Scott's quick pass just before the midway mark.
Raiders went 4-2 up just over a minute later through captain Aaron Connolly, which forced Bees to call a timeout, and Gray had to be alert to deny Stuart Mogg, Antonov and Joe Baird after the restart.
Sylvester then netted a fourth unanswered Raiders goal, assisted by Sladkovsky, to complete a productive period for the home side.
The start of the final period saw Brendan Baird and Callum Wells try long range shots at either end of the ice, before Ollie Baldock was called for roughing to give Bees a power play.
Goss blocked from Connolly, as shorthanded Raiders attacked, but Bees cut the gap soon after Baldock's penalty expired as Brendan Baird fired home.
And minor penalties against Novak for hooking and tripping gave the visitors another advantage, which Malinik made count with just under nine minutes remaining.
With the momentum now in their favour, Bees made it 5-5 less than two minutes later as Antonov scored his second goal of the night to set up a tense last seven minutes.
James Galazzi was given a kneeing penalty to hand Raiders a power play, although they lost Novak to a 10-minute misconduct penalty for incitement.
Gray saved from Joshua Martin before Galazzi's return to the ice, but with only 38 seconds left, Flynn fired through a crowd for Webster to win it for Raiders.
An incensed Antonov was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty on the final buzzer, as well as a game misconduct and match penalty.
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