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Ice hockey: Raiders 6 Bracknell Hornets 8

PUBLISHED: 19:36 07 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:43 08 March 2020

Action from the match between Romford Junior Raiders and Bracknell Hornets at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre

Action from the match between Romford Junior Raiders and Bracknell Hornets at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre

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Romford Junior Raiders slipped to their eighth straight loss in National League Division One South at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday.

Raiders Donald Campbell and Ellie Wakeling shut down a Bracknell opponent (pic Nikki Day)Raiders Donald Campbell and Ellie Wakeling shut down a Bracknell opponent (pic Nikki Day)

A hat-trick from Vilius Krakauskas helped them into a 4-1 lead, but Hornets hit back to skate off with the points.

Raiders began well, with Donald Campbell lifting the puck just over from a tight angle, but Hornets struck first as Ben Ealey-Newman lifted the puck into the roof of the net on his backhand with only 93 seconds gone.

The hosts were back on terms just 44 seconds later, though, as Jan Marcilis cut in from the right to fire past Matthew Croyle, with assists to George Gell and Stevie Dunnage.

Tom Adams saved well from David Milner and Riley Ikin, who both shot from the right wing, before Marcilis fired a wristshot into the stomach of Croyle at the other end.

Raiders import Vilius Krakauskas attacks against Bracknell (pic Nikki Day)Raiders import Vilius Krakauskas attacks against Bracknell (pic Nikki Day)

And Raiders went on the power play when Dominic Hopkins was called for charging Gell against the end boards, with Alan Lack's blast from the blue line well saved in the opening seconds.

Millner was called for cross-checking, soon after Bracknell returned to full strength, but the visitors killed that penalty off as well, only for Raiders to take a 2-1 lead when Tommy Huggett's shot was saved and Krakauskas reacted quickly to whip home the loose puck.

Ewan Hill, playing in borrowed skates, saw a quick snapshot held by Croyle after Gell and Marcilis had combined, while captain Sam Roberts fired wide from between the hashmarks.

But Raiders saw Sam Austin binned on a tripping minor, after toppling Hopkins, and then went 3-1 up as Lithuanian import Krakauskas broke away to score his second goal of the night.

Raiders Alan Lack holds off a Bracknell rival (pic Nikki Day)Raiders Alan Lack holds off a Bracknell rival (pic Nikki Day)

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Krakauskas copleted a straight hat-trick early in the middle session, skating in from the left to score, but Hornets hit back just 23 seconds later as Tamas Elias touched in Bailey Hind-Pitcher's pass at close range.

And Hind-Pitcher slid the puck home on his backhand to cut the gap to one in the 29th minute, with Adams down on the ice from an earlier save.

Bracknell were sensing their chance and put more pressure on the home net, but Huggett countered and dropped the puck for Marcilis, who fizzed it wide.

Young Raiders forward Tommy Huggett (pic Nikki Day)Young Raiders forward Tommy Huggett (pic Nikki Day)

Hornets squared it up with just over six minutes left in the period, though, as Connor Hutchinson banked the puck in off the back of Adams' leg from behind the goalline.

And after Austin and Harvey Hind-Pitcher were binned on roughing minors, the visitors took the lead through Millner, who fired into the roof of the net after Adams had kicked out an earlier shot from Carl Graham.

Raiders replied early in the final period after Campbell skated into the zone and shot just wide, with Austin forcing the puck home from close range.

And Marcilis fired into the stomach of Croyle as the match entered its final 10 minutes, only for Bailey Hind-Pitcher to send a low wristshot past the glove hand of Adams to restore Bracknell's lead.

Hornets opened up a two-goal cushion less than a minute later as Matt Foord joined an attack and fired low past Adams, with Lack called for cross-checking soon after.

And Hopkins made it 8-5 on the power play, forcing the puck home from close range to the left of the net with less than four minutes left in the match.

Austin replied a little over a minute later, netting with a shot on the turn after Roberts and Matt Brown had battled to create the opening.

But it was only a consolation as Raiders saw their losing run extended, ahead of Wednesday's trip to Oxford City Stars.

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