Ice hockey: Raiders 6 Peterborough 2
PUBLISHED: 19:53 22 December 2019 | UPDATED: 19:53 22 December 2019
Everyone Active Raiders ensured a happy Christmas for their supporters with a first win of the season over Phantoms to complete a four-point weekend in the National League.
Buoyed by their win at Leeds the night before, Raiders came flying out of the gate, pinning Phantoms into their own half for lengthy spells in the opening period.
Jake Sylvester was first to test Jordan Marr in close, while Jack Flynn laid a couple of big hits having been restored to his role on the wing.
Blaho Novak fired just wide as the home side maintained a high tempo, with Jacob Ranson's sharp angled chance held by Marr at his near post.
Olegs Lascenko then saw a blast from just inside the blue line turned aside by the stick of Marr, before Phantoms belatedly enjoyed a brief spell in the offensive zone.
Raiders were soon on the front foot again, though, and Erik Piatak had a shot deflected over the plexi glass by Marr, before Aaron Connolly's shot from Piatak's pass was held by the Phantoms goalie.
A backhand shot from Piatak flew over the crossbar, while Brandon Ayliffe's attempted backhand wraparound was smothered at the foot of a post by Marr.
But Raiders had Ethan James to thank for a key save on Jarvis Hunt as he broke in alone on the home net, with Taylor Romeo seeing a wraparound bid foiled by the 20-year-old.
The gloves came off towards the end of the opening session when Corey McEwen was called for tripping and then tussled with Novak in the corner.
Raiders needed just 14 seconds to make the power play count as Sylvester fired in off the crossbar, before Flynn and Will Weldon clashed on the Phantoms blue line.
Ranson then drew a cross-checking penalty from visiting captain James Ferrara and Raiders doubled their lead four seconds into their man advantage as Piatak whipped a wristshot past Marr from between the hash marks.
A two-goal lead was no more than Raiders deserved having dominated the stanza, but the question was could they stay out in front with tempers bubbling.
They had a good chance to add to their lead early in the middle session as Ayliffe helped the puck on to Lukas Sladkovsky on the left and he picked out young Tommy Huggett, but Marr was equal to the chance.
Sladkovsky was next to test Marr with a wristshot knocked over the crossbar and Lascenko drove a slapshot in from the top of the let circle that was trapped by the goalie's stick.
And Raiders went 3-0 up in the 26th minute when good work by Piatak allowed Connolly to curl off the right boards and, with Flynn providing a bit of a screen, send a wristshot inside the far post.
James made a comfortable save on a Romeo wristshot as Phantoms sought to reply, after Ollie Baldock had done well to break up a 2-on-1 chance for the visitors.
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And James also turned aside a McEwen blast with his stick, before blocking an Ales Padelek effort with his chest.
But Raiders lost Flynn to a 2+10 boarding penalty, for a hit in front of the penalty box, to hand Phantoms their first power play chance of the night just before the midway mark.
Piatak killed off a decent chunk of it with a solo skate around the Phantoms zone, before laying the puck back to Dan Scott, who sent a wristshot on goal from the red line.
And the only save of note James had to make came just after the penalty expired, as he gloved Ed Norton's shot, before Sean Barry was binned for tripping to hand the visitors another man advantage.
Piatak forced a blocker save from Marr but Phantoms opened their account with a stunning finish from Padelek, who fired inside the near post into the roof of the net.
And Sladkovsky fired wide of the far post after being sprung by Dan Fuller, while Lascenko let a 2-on-1 chance go to waste when unselfishly looking for Ayliffe, when a shooting lane had opened up for him.
Phantoms then cut the gap to one with just 10 seconds left in the period, when Piatak was called for tripping and James kicked out Norton's blast, only for Ferrara to find McEwen to fire home and set up a tense third and final period.
Novak was denied by Marr early on, while Fuller had a stick shot saved before Raiders opened up a two-goal cushion as Pitchley and Baldock worked along the boards to create a chance for Sylvester to whip home his second goal of the night.
Pitchley was then called for slashing, when attempting to poke the puck past Marr and Sladkovsky shot wide on a partial shorthanded breakaway.
A Phantoms shot hit the mask of James, before Pitchley returned to the ice and tested Marr from the left wing and Sylvester was robbed at the far post by a stunning reflex pad save.
An interference call against Fuller, for a hit on the Phantoms blue line, handed the visitors a power play chance and James held onto Norton's shot from the only notable attempt on goal.
Fuller then had a slapshot kicked out by Marr, after Pitchley had fired just over but Raiders went 5-2 up when Ayliffe chased the puck up ice and sent a backhand effort through the skates of Marr.
And after Sean Barry was called for holding inside the final five minutes, Raiders iced the cake with a shorthanded sixth from Novak, who broke up ice and brushed off a slash from Nathan Pollard, to force the puck past Marr while on his knees.
Raiders: Jake Sylvester 2, Erik Piatak* 1+2, Brandon Ayliffe 1+2, Aaron Connolly 1, Blaho Novak 1, Dan Scott 0+1, JJ Pitchley 0+1, Ollie Baldock 0+1, Lukas Sladkovsky* 0+1.
Phantoms: Ales Padelek* 1, Corey McEwen 1, James Ferrara 0+2, Thomas Norton 0+2.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 30 Phantoms 12.
Shots on goal: Ethan James (R) 8-13-10=31-2; Jordan Marr (P) 14-12-14=40-6.