Raiders edged out by Finnish friends
PUBLISHED: 13:21 09 January 2011
Challenge match produces goal feast
Romford Raiders proved generous hosts in an entertaining 11-10 challenge match defeat against Finnish side Hernesaaran NaaDat Miehet last night.
Juraj Huska, Danny Marshall, Anthony Leone and JJ McGrath put Raiders 4-0 up as the tourists found their breath in the first period.
But former NHLer Petri Varis and Tedy Salutskij - one of six ex-Raiders in the Finnish line-up - hit back.
Joe Allen and Marshall struck to restore the four-goal cushion, before Jari Korpisalo netted a shorthanded goal and Jani Lehtovaara added a trademark slapshot on a powerplay.
Glen Jackson was replaced by Nathan Lawrence in the Romford net and Ville Lilja and Joonas Jaasalainen (shorthanded) levelled it up at 6-6 going into the final period before Korpisalo, a Finnish international, put the visitors ahead for the first time.
Huska quickly squared matters, but Varis and Heikki Mattila made it 9-7 before Timo Kauhanen pounced at close range to take his side into double figures.
Varis completed his hat-trick to make it 11-7, but Raiders - with Billy Phillips back on their blue line after his move from Slough and Pierre Wilhelmsson returning from illness - set up an exciting finale as Frankie Harvey, Allen and Leone cut the gap to a single goal with 1:46 left.
Mikko Kaarto held firm in the Finns’ net, though, as the visitors claimed victory, but the scoreline was not as important as getting the chance to see the former Raiders back at Rom Valley Way.
Raiders return to English National League action tonight, with a trip to MK Thunder (6.30pm), and will be keen to build on their Essex derby win over Chelmsford last weekend.
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