Raiders relishing second chance
PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 April 2015
Oliver: We’ve been given a lifeline
London Raiders defenceman David Oliver says the players will do everything to reach the National League play-off final after an unexpected reprieve this week.
Raiders were beaten 10-5 on aggregate by league champions Chelmsford over the Bank Holiday weekend, only to discover the Chieftains had been thrown out of the competition for icing an ineligible player.
Oliver and his team-mates will now head to the Isle of Wight for the first leg of their semi-final tie on Saturday, before hosting the return at Lee Valley on Sunday.
And they want to make the most of their second chance, with Oliver saying: “I felt we were playing some of our best hockey against Chelmsford last weekend.
“Saturday’s first period was the best 20 minutes I’ve seen over the last few seasons.
“But we have to get last weekend out of our head. We have been given a new life line and we’re not going to let go of it.
“We know Isle of Wight are a good team, but if you go to the ‘cube’ with the some mentality that we did with the Chelmsford game then we will be looking good going into Sunday’s home game.”
Raiders won 6-3 on their last trip to the small rink in Ryde, but were beaten on their own pad when their namesakes visited last month.
Oliver believes the support of their fans will be a big help as they bid to reach the showpiece event, adding: “We’re taking a double-decker busload of Raiders fans, which is going to be like a extra player out on the ice with us.
“Once more we will put our bodies on the line this weekend and do everything we can to get to the finals.”
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