'Important' to get points on the board says Raiders netminder Ethan James

Raiders netminder Ethan James in action against Basingstoke Bison

Raiders netminder Ethan James in action against Basingstoke Bison - Credit: John Scott

Everyone Active Raiders netminder Ethan James says it’s "important" to getting points on the board early on as he expects the National League to be a hard fought battle. 

Head coach Sean Easton and his side face two away trips this weekend, starting with a trip to Basingstoke Bison on Saturday (6.30pm), before then also travelling to Peterborough Phantoms the following night (5.30pm). 

They started the campaign with a defeat to Milton Keynes Lightning and a victory over Bison on home ice last weekend. 

“I think this season will be a close battle, so it’s important to be looking at all games with the intention of taking points,” 22-year-old James said. 

“It’s going to be a year where you win a game and can move up places. This early on in the season it’s really important to be going into games and getting the points.  

“We need to be able to show we’re a team who can pick up points while on the road and at home.” 

Raiders suffered a narrow 3-1 defeat to Lightning on Saturday, but bounced back with a 6-5 win over Bison, to bag two points out of a possible four on the opening weekend of the league campaign. 

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“I think we had a good start to the league campaign, it’s good to put the cup games behind us and start fresh.  

Raiders in action against Basingstoke Bison at the Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre

Raiders in action against Basingstoke Bison at the Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre - Credit: John Scott

“With the short bench and players stepping up I feel like the team are all putting their bodies on the line. 

“I always enjoy playing against MK and it’s always a good rink to visit, I think we played a close Saturday game, we just didn’t capitalise on opportunities when needed and came out on the wrong side of the score line, but I don’t think it’s a game to be disappointed with especially the first two periods. 

“It is always good to get a win on home ice, we want to make it hard for teams to come to the Sapphire and win here and I think we showed that, especially with the fans behind us throughout the game.  

“The atmosphere at the end of the game is something that we want to replicate week in week out.”