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Ice hockey: Bracknell Bees 6 Raiders 3

PUBLISHED: 20:27 09 September 2018

Aaron Connolly is challenged in the corner by Joe Baird (pic John Scott)

Aaron Connolly is challenged in the corner by Joe Baird (pic John Scott)

Archant

Raiders suffered a second successive pre-season challenge defeat in their return meeting with Bracknell on Sunday.

Beaten 5-2 at Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday, they were without Michael Gray, Juraj Huska and Julian Smith in Berkshire.

And the game was only 21 seconds old when the hosts opened the scoring as Joe Baird fed Josh Smith, who teed up Ivan Antonov to score.

Dean Skinns denied Blaho Novak an instant reply and also kept ou Brandon Ayliffe’s wristshot before Raiders went on a power play.

The visitors could not capitalise and fell 2-0 down at 9.59 when Aidan Doughty converted Roman Malinik’s pass.

And a third Bracknell goal came just 95 seconds into the middle session when Brendon Baird beat Ben Clements with a low shot from the hash marks for a shorthanded effort.

Raiders hit back soon after with a power play goal from Dan Scott, after Josh Smith was called for hooking, but Bees went 4-1 up when Malinik wired home a shot from the point on a power play, after Scott was called for a late hit.

Raiders enjoyed a spell of pressure after that but could not beat Skinns and saw Smith skate in to beat Clements with a wrist shot at 32.01.

However, they claimed their second goal of the night when Scott Spearing was called for delay of game and Mason Webster tapped in after good work from Matt Turner and Novak.

Bees had the last word in the period, though, as Doughty fired home his second on another power play to leave Raiders four down heading into the final stanza.

Raiders replaced Clements with Brad Windebank for the third period and, after chances at both ends, they cut the gap when Aaron Connolly finished from in front of the net, assisted by Ayliffe.

Malinik saw a backhand shot saved, before Novak tested Skinns at the other end, but Raiders then lost JJ Pitchley after a late hit that incensed Ben Paynter, who picked up a roughing minor and 10-minute misconduct penalty with less than six minutes left.

Novak was called for interference on the next shift, handing Bees a 4-on-3 power play chance, but Shaun Thompson saw Connolly deflect one shot off target and then fired another wide as the scoreline remained unchanged.

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