Raiders captain Connolly wants to draw on positives ahead of campaign

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly rushes the puck forward against Telford Tigers

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly rushes the puck forward against Telford Tigers - Credit: John Scott

Everyone Active Raiders captain Aaron Connolly wants to draw on the positives on the Autumn Cup as they head into the new National League season. 

Head coach Sean Easton and his side will make the trip away to Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday (7pm) before then hosting Basingstoke Bison at the Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre the following night (5.15pm). 

The free-scoring winger did admit they know results haven’t been good enough and will look to rectify that. 

“We’ve got to park that, we’ve got a long season ahead, everyone in that dressing room agrees the results haven’t been what we’ve wanted,” Connolly said. 

“We do have to try to look at the positives, all the games other than Leeds have been one or two goal games, and we’ve been in them the whole time. 


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“I appreciate it’s frustrating, I'm getting frustrated, and we need to find that little bit extra to turn results in our favour. 

“Hopefully we’ll get some bodies back and roll into the season. There is a lot of positives, I can hand on heart say since I've been here this team is working hard and really buying into what Sean is saying. 

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly rushes the puck forward against Telford Tigers

Raiders captain Aaron Connolly rushes the puck forward against Telford Tigers - Credit: John Scott

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“Not disrespecting previous teams, but there is certainly a gel and something different this year, and that is what I'm looking forward to. 

“We are working our hardest to get that product out onto the ice, our defensive zone is a lot better, and we’re not taking as many penalties so that’s not hurting us as much.” 

Raiders have endured an early season injury crisis, but Connolly refused to make that an excuse. 

“It’s not an excuse, it’s hockey, you get injured. That’s part and parcel of hockey. 

“I’m not saying we would have won these games if we didn’t have injuries, I’m just saying moving forward you want your full team out there. 

“Injuries or not, it’s not an excuse to not win games, not from me anyway.” 

Raiders suffered back-to-back defeats to finish off the Autumn Cup campaign. 

Head coach Easton and his side sealed two wins, an overtime defeat and suffered five defeats in the eight cup clashes. 

It was a 7-4 defeat away to Swindon Wildcats on Saturday before a 5-4 loss to Telford Tigers the following evening despite strong starts in both matches. 

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