Mentally weak says Raiders coach Easton about the late overtime loss to Basingstoke
PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 February 2020
Everyone Active Raiders head coach Sean Easton says his side were too mentally weak as they suffered an overtime defeat to Basingstoke Bison.
Raiders cruised to a 3-0 lead thanks to a Brandon Ayliffe hat-trick but ended up throwing the lead away as Bison drew level with three seconds left to take the encounter into overtime where Richard Bordowski netted with two seconds left to seal the win.
And coach Easton insists, despite a few poor refereeing decisions, his players spent far too long feeling sorry for themselves.
"We were mentally weak in the dying stages of the game and spent too long feeling sorry for ourselves, rather then taking the game from Basingstoke," the 33-year-old admitted.
The former Chelmsford Chieftains defenceman and coach was not pleased with his side's first period efforts either, despite leading 1-0 at the break.
But he did believe they improved in the second and early parts of the third period, even with a shorter bench due to injuries and absentees.
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"I felt the first period was sloppy and we didn't have the work rate required to win a game even though we ended the period 1-0 up, but I felt we could've been two or three goals up," he added.
"The second period was a lot better, we were killing off penalties and adding offensive pressure throughout.
"The third period was the best I have seen us manage the puck in the first 10 minutes and we wasn't giving Basingstoke anything.
"We scored the third goal and then we scored a fourth which was ruled no goal for some strange reason."
Easton then felt the decision to rule out Erik Piatak's effort played on the minds of his players and they gave away too many powerplays in the latter stages of the game, adding: "Then we offer Basingstoke power play after power play giving them a chance to come into the game.
"Their third goal in the last seconds for me was goalie interference, as our goalie (Ethan James) was laid flat on the ice without a helmet on.
"That surely must ring alarm bells for the referees, but the goal was given."
Raiders were without key players such as Dan Scott and Jack Cooper for the contest, while defenceman Callum Wells was ejected from the game for fighting and could face a suspension.