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Captain Connolly insists the Raiders must claw points in every game for play-off spot

PUBLISHED: 16:00 12 February 2020

Raiders Aaron Connolly leads the celebrations after a Raiders goal against Basingstoke Bison (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders Aaron Connolly leads the celebrations after a Raiders goal against Basingstoke Bison (Pic: John Scott)

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Everyone Active Raiders captain Aaron Connolly insists they must be clawing points out of every game due to being at the business end of the season now.

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly was named January Player of the month (Pic: John Scott)Raiders captain Aaron Connolly was named January Player of the month (Pic: John Scott)

The Raiders picked up three points on the weekend as they suffering a 5-4 defeat in overtime to title challenging Swindon Wildcats before sealing a 6-4 victory over Basingstoke Bison the following night on home ice.

Those results move them three points clear of play-off chasing rivals Bracknell Bees as they battle for the final spot in the National League play-off places.

"We're at the business end of the season and need to be clawing points out of every game," the 26-year-old admitted.

They were leading 4-2 away to Aaron Nell's Wildcats in the final period thanks to goals from Ollie Baldock, Jake Sylvester, Lukas Sladkovsky and Connolly himself but blew the lead and ended up losing in overtime as Tyler VanKleef found the back of the net.

"Of course it is frustrating, as a team we want to be wining every game, but we have to be realistic at the same time we are short right now and on the road to one of the league leaders.

"If someone had offered me three points out of four on the Friday night before the game I would have taken it."

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The former Bison skipper also admitted it felt good to get one back on his former club for falling to a late overtime defeat away from home last weekend.

"It felt really good to get the win following last weekend's game and I guess they left our building the same way we felt leaving their rink last weekend which is what it's all about."

The eight game series between Raiders and Bison has certaintly been exciting with an extra edge to it with two of the encounters resulting in overtime .

Sean Easton's side winning two while Ashley Tait's won six of the clashes throughout the campaign.

"I guess it's probably because geographically they're probably one of our closest opponents and the games over the past few years have been so competitive there is an extra buzz around them."

Captain Connolly was also named Raiders January player of the month with one of the highlights being a four goal game away to Sheffield Steeldogs.

"It's nice, but I honestly feel it could have went to a number of the boys this month.

"The boys have really stepped up whilst we're short and pulled together."


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