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Raiders can beat anyone in league says Novak as James makes great Romford return

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 December 2019

Raiders Brandon Ayliffe, Lukas Sladkovsky and Blaho Novak celebrate a goal against Hull (pic John Scott)

Raiders Brandon Ayliffe, Lukas Sladkovsky and Blaho Novak celebrate a goal against Hull (pic John Scott)

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Everyone Active Raiders forward Blaho Novak insists they can beat anyone in the National League - when they play their game.

Raiders forward Blaho Novak helps protect goalie Ethan James on his debut against Hull (pic John Scott)Raiders forward Blaho Novak helps protect goalie Ethan James on his debut against Hull (pic John Scott)

Raiders picked up a 6-3 victory over Hull Pirates at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday before suffering a narrow 6-4 defeat at Peterborough Phantoms the following night.

And the Slovakian-born native praised the performance they put in to sink the Pirates, saying: "We know when we play our best hockey we can beat anyone in this league.

"After a four-game losing streak, it's very important to get some points and keep close to other teams in the table.

"We played very good hockey, scored goals at important times. We had a game plan and it worked as everyone played their role."

Raiders goalie Ethan James focuses on the action during his debut against Hull (pic John Scott)Raiders goalie Ethan James focuses on the action during his debut against Hull (pic John Scott)

Novak heaped praise on young goalie Ethan James, after the former Romford junior was named man of the match on his debut, adding: "I knew Ethan was a very good goalie, but he showed it on Sarurday.

"He made some vital saves and kept us in a lead. It was a great way to start his return to the gold and blue."

Too many penalties cost the Raiders against the Phantoms, who scored four power play goals.

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"We started well and if we buried our chances in the first 10 minutes we could have been up by four or five goals," added Novak.

"We conceded four power play goals and it's a killer. Fair play to Peterborough, but five-on-five we played better.

"Overall we must take the positives from the game, especially as we were losing 5-2 in last five minutes of the game. We fought back well and almost took the game to overtime."

The hard-working centre seemed to flourish on a line with Lukas Sladkovsky and Brandon Ayliffe but admitted he is happy to play anywhere to help the team.

"I don't mind playing with anyone from our team and it doesn't matter if you are first or fourth line," he said.

"Whatever Sean (Easton) feels is going to work I respect that.

"Having Lukas and Brandon on my wings seems to be working at the moment. They both have skill and speed, but I can say the same about many more guys from our team.

"Overally I'm happy with the weekend. We got two points against a strong side at home in front of our fans and competed well with Peterborourgh.

"After four losses it's definitely a positive weekend for us and we know next weekend is even more important playing Leeds."

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