Raiders netminder Gray keen to get back to winning ways ahead of the play-offs
PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 15 March 2019
Everyone Active Raiders netminder Michael Gray is desperate to get back to winning ways and build some momentum ahead of the National League South One play-offs, writes Jacob Ranson.
Raiders host Peterborough Phantoms at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday (5.15pm), before visiting Bracknell Bees the following night.
Sean Easton’s side have fallen to three consecutive defeats in the last two weekends, with the last two being against strugglers Milton Keynes Thunder.
“We need to get back to winning ways ahead of the play-offs, but we know if we play like we did in the last two weekends it won’t happen,” Gray said.
“We’ve been punished for the way we played, which was truly deserved, as we let ourselves down as well as the fans in those matches.”
The 29-year-old shot stopper expects a tough weekend but is urging the squad to come out fighting in their final two league fixtures of the campaign.
“Expect us to come out fighting very hard this weekend, we know we have two very tough games, but will give it our all,” he added.
The former Slough Jets goalie insists the match against the Bees is a strange circumstance as the two sides will meet in the first round of the play-offs a week later.
“The game against Bracknell is a really strange one, but very important,” he said.
“We want to win the game of course and hurt them mentally, but sometimes it can drive the losing team on to get some revenge.”
Gray is setting the bar high for the Raiders and wants them to go all the way by qualifying for the Coventry play-off finals weekend on April 13-14.
“Anything can happen in play-off hockey and I truly believe we can make it all the way to Coventry if we play the right way and work together like I know we can.”
Raiders will remain without forward Blahoslav Novak due to suspension, while John Connolly, Callum Wells and Ollie Baldock could all still be sidelined through various injuries that have been picked up in recent weeks.
“We have a few injuries, but most teams do at this stage of the season, so you have to work around it and other guys have to step up,” added Gray.
“Same with the suspension against Novak as it shows others need to fill that gap and play better.”