National League: Raiders 8 Basingstoke 3
PUBLISHED: 19:45 22 September 2019 | UPDATED: 19:45 22 September 2019
Everyone Active Raiders skated to an impressive win in their first home fixture of the new National League season at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday.
Having slipped to a 9-6 loss in Swindon the night before, Raiders tamed the Bison with a blitz of five goals in five minutes early in the second period, with captain Aaron Connolly, Lukas Sladkovsky and Mason Webster all finishing the night with two goals apiece.
Raiders lost Webster to a charging penalty with barely two minutes played, but Basingstoke's power play advantage did not last long as they picked up a bench minor for abuse of official.
The hosts were then caught with too many men on the ice, however, and Bison made them pay as Adam Jones netted an unassisted goal to open the scoring.
Raiders lost JJ Pitchley for charging, but King was called for holding seconds later and it was all square when captain Connolly found the net, assisted by Sean Barry and Sladkovsky.
Jack Flynn was next to be sent to the penalty box, on another charging minor, and Bison regained the lead with a delayed penalty goal from Tom Ralph.
The middle period was less than a minute old when Elliot Dewey was binned for tripping and Raiders struck on the power play through Blaho Novak, assisted by Olegs Lascenko and Webster, to level.
And the hosts took the lead just 47 seconds later through Jake Sylvester, assisted by Brandon Ayliffe.
Things got even better for Raiders in the 25th minute as Sladkovsky put them 4-2 up with a shorthanded goal, after Flynn was given a 2+10 penalty for boarding.
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And Webster then got in on the act, before Sladkovsky claimed his second to give the home side a 6-2 cushion in the 27th minute.
A roughing penalty against Jack Cooper was killed off, before Sylvester was binned for tripping just past the game's midway point.
And although Raiders also survived that spell, Sylvester was soon back in the box for slashing, as Bison went on the power play for the third time in quick succession.
Raiders made light of their numerical disadvantage to net a second shorthanded goal of the night and seventh overall through skipper Connolly, against his former club.
But namesake Ross was called for roughing towards the end of the period, as Raiders again fell foul of referee Stefan Matthews.
And the young Scottish defenceman was back in the box early in the final session serving a high-sticking penalty, which was killed off before Bison's Liam Morris was called for roughing.
Webster netted on the power play, assisted by Novak and Ross Connolly, to widen the gap to six goals, and Bison lost Michal Klejna to a slashing minor soon after.
But the visitors got one back with just over five minutes remaining through George Norcliffe, then went on the power play when Webster, Novak and Morris were all binned on roughing minors.
There was no change to the scoreline, though, as Raiders skated off comfortable winners in front of their loyal fans.
Next weekend sees Raiders play host to Telford Tigers on Saturday, before making the long trip north to Sheffield Steeldogs the following night.
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