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Ice hockey: Raiders 6 MK Lightning 4

PUBLISHED: 20:00 19 January 2020 | UPDATED: 20:27 19 January 2020

Raiders defenceman Olegs Lascenko rushes up ice against MK Lightning (pic John Scott)

Raiders defenceman Olegs Lascenko rushes up ice against MK Lightning (pic John Scott)

Archant

Everyone Active Raiders skated to an impressive win over in-form MK Lightning at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday.

Raiders goalie Michael Gray denies MK Lightning's Hallden Barnes-Garner (pic John Scott)Raiders goalie Michael Gray denies MK Lightning's Hallden Barnes-Garner (pic John Scott)

Both sides had lost in overtime the night before and Raiders were again without senior defenceman Dan Scott.

Callum Wells had a blue line shot held by Dean Skinns, before Lightning opened the scoring in the third minute through Tom Carlon.

But Raiders were back on terms just 31 seconds later through captain Aaron Connolly, following his four-goal haul in their overtime defeat in Sheffield the night before.

Rio Grinell-Parke and Jake Sylvester then had chances at either end of the ice, before Jack Flynn and Liam Stewart were called for elbows and interference to leave the sides skating 4-on-4.

Raiders forward Blaho Novak on the bench (pic John Scott)Raiders forward Blaho Novak on the bench (pic John Scott)

And soon after Flynn's return to the ice, he clashed with Grant McPherson and picked up an additional tripping minor on top of the roughing penalties both players received to hand the visitors the first power play of the night.

Raiders survived the shorthanded spell and Ollie Baldock had a shot blocked by Skinns, before he was called for hooking and James Griffin for holding the opponent's stick.

Lightning regained the lead during those penalties through veteran Leigh Jamieson, before more penalties were called against Raiders Blaho Novak (roughing) and MK's Jordan Stokes (holding).

And the visitors went 3-1 up as Czech import Tomas Kana beat Michael Gray, before Mason Webster was left down on the ice after a hit to the head.

Raiders head coach Sean Easton speaks to his players (pic John Scott)Raiders head coach Sean Easton speaks to his players (pic John Scott)

But the officials decided not to call a penalty after discussing the incident and Raiders hit back through Brandon Ayliffe's unassisted goal in the penultimate minute of the period.

Then the home side levelled it up with just 18 seconds left on the clock thanks to another a goal from defenceman Olegs Lascenko to cap an entertaining opening session, in which they had been outshot 12-8.

Raiders went on the power play early in the middle period when Stokes was called for holding, but Skinns denied Lascenko and Lukas Sladkovsky.

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Gray thwarted Samuel Russell, then blocked efforts from Kana and Rio Grinell-Parke, either side of Sean Barry firing over the net for Raiders.

And the home side took the lead when Novak skated through on goal and beat Skinns for a superb unassisted goal.

Jack Cooper and Lascenko had shots blocked around the midway mark, before Connolly was called for roughing, handing Lightning a power play chance.

Jamieson fired a left-wing chance wide before Connolly returned to the ice and had a chance of his own, but put it wide of the net.

Gray held onto a shot from Russ Cowley, while Fuller fired a right-wing effort at Skinns, who also saved from JJ Pitchley.

Novak and Grinell-Parke were binned on roughing minors towards the end of the period, with Sladkovsky picking up a slashing minor, followed by 10-minute and game misconduct penalties before Cooper saw a blue line effort deflected off-target from the left and Cowley made it 4-4 with just 14 seconds left on the clock.

Cowley was binned for tripping only 39 seconds into the final period and Lascenko restored the Raiders lead with his second goal of the night on the power play.

Harry Ferguson was then called for cross checking but Robin Kovar broke shorthanded to force Gray to save.

Fuller shot wide and Piatak had an effort blocked by Skinns before Gray denied McPherson and Wells also had a shot saved for the hosts.

Gray kept out Griffin before and after Jacob Ranson was sent to the box on a hooking call, with Ferguson unable to scramble the puck past Gray.

Skinns denied Pitchley's long shot, while Baldock stopped Russell at the other end and Carlon missed the target.

Lightning went back on the power play when Piatak was called for roughing with five minutes left but Wells blocked Kana's shot and Cowley fired wide before Gray held on to Kovar's effort.

Ayliffe then shot wide on a breakaway chance, before Ligntning pulled Skinns for an extra skater in the final minute.

But the move backfired as Ayliffe found the empty net to score a sixth Raiders goal five seconds from time and seal a three-point weekend.


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