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Captain Connolly wants his Raiders to remain focused on aim despite winning run

PUBLISHED: 13:30 12 March 2020

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly celebrates his overtime winner against Bracknell Bees (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly celebrates his overtime winner against Bracknell Bees (Pic: John Scott)

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Everyone Active Raiders captain Aaron Connolly insists they must remain focused on securing a place in the National League play-offs place despite going six games unbeaten.

Raiders celebrate a goal in their win over Peteborough Phantoms at the Sapphire Ice (Pic: John Scott)Raiders celebrate a goal in their win over Peteborough Phantoms at the Sapphire Ice (Pic: John Scott)

They sealed a 2-1 overtime victory over rivals Bracknell Bees on Saturday thanks to Connolly himself netting the winner before a comfortable 7-2 win over Peterborough Phantoms on home ice the following night.

Those victories meant they have moved three points clear of the Bees in eighth place as their rivals also won on Sunday as they beat Sheffield Steeldogs 7-1.

'The atmosphere is good at the minute, but we have still not made it to the play-offs so we remain focused on achieving that,' the 26-year-old said.

'The extra point over Bracknell is huge and we are in the driving seat, which is nice.

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly celebrates his overtime winner against Bracknell Bees (Pic: John Scott)Raiders captain Aaron Connolly celebrates his overtime winner against Bracknell Bees (Pic: John Scott)

'At this moment in time our future is in our own hands and we don't have to rely on anyone else.'

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The former Basingstoke Bison winger did admit he was 'excited' to score the game-winning goal in overtime, but feels he would have been the same had anyone scored it.

'It's a great feeling to get the win. I was pretty excited to get the goal, but I would have been just as excited if it was someone else, it's the points that matter for us not who is scoring on the night,' added Connolly.

Raiders celebrate a goal in their win over Peteborough Phantoms at the Sapphire Ice (Pic: John Scott)Raiders celebrate a goal in their win over Peteborough Phantoms at the Sapphire Ice (Pic: John Scott)

'It was a bit of a cagey affair in all honesty, both teams played pretty tight defence, which I guess is to be expected when there is so much riding on the result.'

A brace from Erik Piatak and goals from JJ Pitchley, Jake Sylvester, Connolly, Blahoslav Novak and Lukas Sladkovsky sealed the win over the Phantoms, playing for a third day in a row.

Slava Koulikov's side has been one that Sean Easton's men have struggled against throughout the season, but they managed to find a way past them on Sunday.

'We came out with a purpose as we have in the recent weeks,' Connolly insisted.

'I think the main difference was we are a team fighting to make the play-offs and Peterborough probably had one eye on their cup final game this week.

'That's not to take anything away from us as we deserved the result and put one of our best performances in.'


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