Raiders shot down by Stars
PUBLISHED: 09:24 12 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:24 12 January 2015
National League: Oxford 8 London Raiders 6
London Raiders were left empty-handed after a bad-tempered National League affair in Oxford last night.
Although buoyed by their 3-3 draw in Bracknell the night before, Raiders conceded twice inside the first five minutes and were always playing catch-up against the Stars.
Romanian defenceman Zsolt Mastaleriu converted an early powerplay for the hosts, who doubled their advantage through the returning Alan Green soon after.
Raiders hit back with a powerplay goal of their own from captain Tom Davis, before Jacob Ranson sent Liam Chong clear for a shorthanded equaliser, with Davis serving an interference minor.
Oxford regained the lead early in the middle period through Green and Josh Oliver’s powerplay goal made it 4-2, before import Evan Mackintosh added a shorthanded fifth.
The visitors bounced back with powerplay goals from Grant Taylor and Vaclav Drabek, just 53 seconds apart, to set up a tense final session but Josh Florey and Green struck again to put Oxford 7-4 up with 10 minutes remaining.
Raiders responded with powerplay goals from Alan Lack – his first for the club – and Taylor, less than a minute later, but the decision to withdraw goalie Michael Gray for an extra skater in the final minute backfired as Joe Oliver fired into the empty net for Oxford’s eighth.
Tempers then boiled over with just 10 seconds left on the clock, after a challenge on Chong.
And when the dust settled on several scraps, London’s Davis and Ross Wilkinson had been assessed match penalties for their part in the skirmish, along with Oxford’s Darren Elliott as both sides finished with more than 100 minutes in penalties each.
Scorers, Oxford: Green 3+1 Josh Oliver 1+2 Mackintosh* 1+1 Mastaleriu* 1+1 Florey 1 Joe Oliver 1 Nick Oliver 0+3 Cox 0+1 Avery 0+1.
Raiders: Taylor 2 Davis 1+2 Chong 1+1 Lack 1+1 Drabek* 1+1 Oliver 0+1 Ranson 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Oxford 105 Raiders 106.
Shots faced: James Skaife (Oxford) 56-6 Michael Gray (Raiders, 59:55) 28-7 Empty net (0:05) 1-1.
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