Raiders looking to get back into 'groove' after defeat at home

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly goes for goal against Sheffield Steeldogs

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly goes for goal against Sheffield Steeldogs - Credit: John Scott

Everyone Active Raiders captain Aaron Connolly knows they must find their "groove" once again as they face two of the league’s front-runners. 

Head coach Sean Easton and his side will make the long trip to face Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday (7.30pm) before welcoming Swindon Wildcats the following night (5.15pm). 

Raiders currently sit fourth in the National League behind leaders Steeldogs and third-placed Wildcats. 

“We are fourth in the league but both the teams we face this weekend are above us so we need to find our groove again,” Connolly said. 

“We have a sour taste in our mouth from our performance against Sheffield last week and we will be looking to put that right before heading back to the Sapphire on Sunday. 

“As aforementioned, it’s been a relatively good start in terms of league standings but we set high standards of ourselves, hence why we aren’t resting on our laurels and have been disappointed with recent performances.” 

Raiders defenceman Tom Relf in action against his former club Sheffield Steeldogs

Raiders defenceman Tom Relf in action against his former club Sheffield Steeldogs - Credit: John Scott

Raiders could be boosted by the return of the likes of Erik Piatak, Lukas Sladkovsky, Rio Grinell-Parke and Callum Wells. 

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“It will undoubtedly help getting some bodies back, but us being short the last few weeks isn’t an excuse.  

“Ultimately, there is only five players on the ice at any one given time so we have to look at ourselves for recent performances.” 

Raiders suffered a 5-2 defeat to Sheffield Steeldogs on home ice on the weekend, much to the disappointment of captain Connolly. 

“We weren't good enough, it’s as simple as that. I thought it was our poorest performance so far this season to be honest.  

“If it wasn’t for Ethan James in goal I think the score line could have been a lot worse. 

“There is definitely an element of coming away from what made us successful, however, if you look at the bigger picture it’s a highly competitive league and after eight games we still remain in fourth place.  

“We just need to go back to doing the simple things right and limit our mistakes and I genuinely think we will be ok.” 

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