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Ice hockey: Raiders 6 Hull 1

PUBLISHED: 20:03 01 March 2020 | UPDATED: 20:03 01 March 2020

Raiders goalie Ethan James (pic John Scott)

Raiders goalie Ethan James (pic John Scott)

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Everyone Active Raiders completed back-to-back weekend wins over Hull to keep their National League play-off bid on track on Sunday.

Raiders defenceman Dan Scott on the puck (pic John Scott)Raiders defenceman Dan Scott on the puck (pic John Scott)

Having claimed a 6-5 triumph in Hull on Saturday, thanks to Aaron Connolly's 59th-minute winner, they skated to a comfortable margin of victory back at Romford's Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre, to remain in eighth place ahead of rivals Bracknell.

And Raiders head to Berkshire to take on the Bees in a crucial contest for their next assignment next Saturday as the regular season draws to a fascinating conclusion in the coming weeks.

Ethan James made saves from Steven Chalmers and Jonathan Kirk in the opening minutes, before Connolly had the first chance of note for the hosts to no avail.

James Archer fired wide for Hull, after James had blocked the initial right-wing shot, and Samuel Towner saw his effort blocked.

Jacob Ranson netted for Raiders against Hull (pic John Scott)Jacob Ranson netted for Raiders against Hull (pic John Scott)

Connolly fired another shot across the Pirates net, while Dan Fuller blocked Lee Bonner's effort at the other end before the gloves came off behind Ashley Smith.

Raiders Jack Flynn was given a total of six minutes, as Matty Davies picked up a roughing double minor and Smith an interference minor.

And the hosts ended up on a major power play after Bobby Chamberlain was given a 5+game penalty as third man in, plus a match penalty for fighting, but Erik Piatak and Jason Hewitt were then binned for roughing and hooking respectively.

Hull's Matt Bissonnette was next to go to the penalty box, with a minor penalty for abuse of official, followed by Raiders forwards Ollie Baldock and Mason Webster.

Blaho Novak celebrates a goal for Raiders (pic John Scott)Blaho Novak celebrates a goal for Raiders (pic John Scott)

Once the two sides were back at even strength, Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper called Smith into action with a shot from the right wing, which led to a scramble in front of the net.

And Raiders went back on the power play after Bonner was given a pair of minor penalties for slashing and cross-checking, only for Piatak to be denied by Smith's glove save.

Connolly go tin the way of Dan Scott's blue line shot too as the opening period ended scoreless, with Raiders having 1.17 with the extra man to start the middle session.

And they made it count to break the deadlock through Scott, assisted by Jake Sylvester, and quickly doubled their lead just 19 seconds later as Blaho Novak netted from JJ Pitchley's pass.

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly (pic John Scott)Raiders captain Aaron Connolly (pic John Scott)

Smith denied Piatak's hard, low shot before James saved from Bonner and Sylvester shot just wide, but it was 3-0 in the 26th minute as Jacob Ranson got in on the act, assisted by Lukas Sladkovsky.

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Smith stopped Fuller's shot from the right, before Jordan Fisher was called for tripping, only for Baldock to follow on the same call just over a minute later.

Sladkovsky went close to a fourth Raiders goal before Cooper was called for tripping to give Hull 44 seconds with a two-man advantage.

James saved from Hewitt, while Scott blocked a Bissonnette shot, but Pirates opened their account once the penalties had expired through Bissonnette.

And the visitors were back on the power play when Flynn was called for charging, with Hewitt sending a shot from the left wide of the target, before Flynn set up Piatak at the far post and Smith got across to block.

The gloves came off again in the final minute of the period as Webster and Hewitt tangled, picking up six and eight minutes in total respectively to leave Raiders on the power play either side of the break.

And Scott had a long shot blocked by Smith before Hull returned to full strength, with the hosts hitting the frame of the visiting goal soon after.

Fisher, Connolly and Sean Barry were all wide of the mark with their respective efforts, before Smith blocked another shot from Barry and Bonner - after his hat-trick on home ice the night before - shot past the post with 12 minutes remaining.

Flynn and Archer then clashed and were binned with roughing minors and Raiders went 4-1 up with just over 10 minutes still to play when captain Connolly converted Piatak's pass.

And a fifth home goal followed just 28 seconds later as Novak beat Smith for a second time to leave Pirates on the rocks.

Ayliffe was slashed by Hewitt as he attacked the Hull net, giving Raiders another power play opportunity which they converted thanks to Connolly to make it three goals in three and a half minutes.

Hull were given a power play chance when Webster was binned for roughing, but Barry went closest to adding to the scoreline, before Webster returned to the ice and clashed with Thomas Stubley, with both picking up four minutes for fighting.

Canadian import Bissonnette was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty in the penultimate minute of the match, with Barry binned for a late hit in the closing seconds as Raiders completed a second successive four-point weekend.

Raiders: Aaron Connolly 2, Blaho Novak 2, Dan Scott 1, Jacob Ranson 1, Sean Barry 0+3, Erik Piatak 0+2, Lukas Sladkovsky 0+2, Jake Sylvester 0+1, JJ Pitchley 0+1.

Pirates: Matt Bissonnette 1, Matty Davies 0+1, Lee Bonner 0+1.

Penalty minutes: Raiders 34 Hull 87.

Shots on goal: Ethan James (R) 10-15-10=35-1; Ashley Smith (H) 14-14-12=40-6.


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