Raiders must build on positives as they begin autumn cup campaign
- Credit: John Scott
Everyone Active Raiders must build on the positives from pre-season friendlies as they begin their autumn cup campaign says netminder Brad Windebank.
Head coach Sean Easton and his side will travel away to face Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday (7pm) before then hosting Sheffield Steeldogs at the Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre the following night (5.15pm).
They suffered three narrow defeats and picked up a draw in pre-season against the likes of Basingstoke Bison and Bees IHC but took plenty of positives.
“We have to keep building on the good things we have done during pre-season and take them into the game on Saturday against MK,” the 19-year-old said.
“We’re going to have to be switched on from the get go and be disciplined across the weekend.”
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The former Romford junior was handed two starts in-between the pipes against Bison on the weekend where they ended up losing both matches 3-2, much to his delight.
“It was a great feeling to get my first starts of the new season, especially with the lack of hockey we have all played over the last couple of years.
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“It was also nice to have some normality back with the fans being back in the building. Two narrow defeats is frustrating for us as a team as we should have won both of these games.
“We had the chances to put the game to bed but we have to take the positives out of the weekend and roll into this weekend.
“It was definitely an improvement from the games against the Bees, which is a good sign going forward.”
Windebank now hopes that he can create good competition with fellow netminder Ethan James to start games throughout the season.
But he knows that will come from working hard in training and being ready when called upon for games.
“Going forward I have to keep training hard and working with Ethan to create a good competitive partnership where we push each other.
“I’ve got to be ready when I’m called upon and take every opportunity with both hands.”
Raiders will be without Czech forward Lukas Sladkovsky for what could be a lengthy period after injurying his wrist during the defeat to Bison on Sunday.