Ice hockey: Basingstoke 6 Raiders 5 (OT)
PUBLISHED: 21:14 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 21:14 24 November 2018
Everyone Active Raiders let a four-goal lead slip to fall to an overtime defeat against defending National League champions Basingstoke on Saturday.
They looked set for their first win over the Bison after scoring five times in the middle period to cancel out the home side’s early opener.
But Richard Bordowski inspired Basingstoke’s comeback with a final-period hat-trick, then netted the overtime winner.
Less than two minutes had been played when Bison broke out and Ashley Tait finished off a neat passing move to open the scoring.
Brandon Ayliffe flashed the puck across the face of the Bison goal as Raiders looked for a reply, before JJ Pitchley was called for a late hit on Sam Smith.
The visitors killed off the penalty without too much alarm, before Aaron Connolly raced up the wing and forced Alex Mettam into a save.
Pitchley was also denied by the Bison keeper, while Juraj Huska fired wide after Liam Morris turned the puck over in his own zone.
Ben Clements was called into action to thwart Tait, though, while Alex Sampford spurned a good chance for the hosts.
Ashley Jackson had two chances in quick succession as Raiders finished the first period on the front foot, but went into the break still in arrears.
However, Clements had to be alert to save from Sampford after the restart, then produced a stunning diving save to keep out Russ Cowley.
Raiders rallied with a spell of preessure that saw Ayliffe test Mettam, but the hosts then had a goal ruled out when the play was judged offside.
And the visitors finally got the goal their play had deserved to level things up in the 29th minute when Jake Sylvester’s shot was saved and Liam Chong tapped in the loose puck.
Jackson missed a great chance to give Raiders the lead, with Mettam out of position, but it was 2-1 in the 32nd minute as Ollie Baldock won a face-off in the Bison zone and Huska fired past an unsighted Mettam.
And Raiders were in dreamland when Callum Wells claimed their third goal, again assisted by Baldock, to make it three in five minutes as the match was turned on its head.
Matt Turner and Tait were called for holding and boarding penalties in quick succession to leave the sides skating 4-on-4, although the Basingstoke player also received a misconduct penalty.
And Morris then picked up an abuse of official minor penalty to hand Raiders a power play chance, with Dan Scott forcing a save from Mettam.
Raiders made their extra man count, though, as Huska teed up Scott from a face-off and the defenceman smashed home a textbook goal to make it 4-1 with just over four minutes remaining in the middle session.
Then, with two minutes left on the clock, it was five as Ayliffe tapped in at the far post, after Mettam had saved an earlier shot, to complete a stunning period for Raiders.
Bison were left shorthanded early in the final session when Danny Ingoldsby was called for holding, but they killed the penalty off and then pulled a goal back when Morris set Bordowski away and he fired home from a tight angle.
Tempers boiled over soon after, with Cowley and Blaho Novak exchanging words, while Pitchley and Chris Cooke engaged in some pushing and shoving.
But no penalties were called and Clements made a pad save from Jay King, before Wells was binned for interference.
Play was then held up while blood was cleared from the ice, after John Connolly clashed with Hallam Wilson, and Clements held on to a shot from Adam Jones once the action resumed.
Although Raiders killed off the Wells penalty, they lost captain Aaron Connolly to a holding the stick minor with seven and a half minutes on the clock.
And Bison needed just 23 seconds to make it count as Bordowski poked home from close range after Morris and Sampford had combined, then cut the gap to one with six minutes left as Bordowski completed his hat-trick with an unassisted goal.
Raiders coach Sean Easton called a timeout to settle his side down and they went back on the power play when Mettam was called for slashing Sylvester.
But Bison killed it off and Elliot Dewey forced a save from Clements before Mettam was removed for an extra skater.
And the hosts levelled with only 18 seconds left as Sampford pounced on a loose puck to poke home, with Klejna and Tait picking up assists.
Bordowski then completed the remarkable turnaround by netting Basingstoke’s winner just 64 seconds into the extra period.
Scorers, Bison: Richard Bordowski* 4, Ashley Tait 1+2, Alex Sampford 1+1, Liam Morris 0+2, Michal Klejna* 0+2, Paul Petts 0+1, Adam Jones 0+1.
Raiders: Liam Chong 1, Juraj Huska* 1+2, Callum Wells 1, Dan Scott 1, Brandon Ayliffe 1, Ollie Baldock 0+2, Jake Sylvester 0+1, Ashley Jackson 0+1.
Shots on goal: Alex Mettam (B) 7-17-4-0=28-5; Ben Clements (R) 4-8-16-2=30-6.
Penalty minutes: Bison 18, Raiders 8.