Ice hockey: Raiders 2 Swindon 3
PUBLISHED: 19:54 28 October 2018 | UPDATED: 19:55 28 October 2018
Everyone Active Raiders suffered late heartbreak as they fell to a fifth defeat in six matches in National League Division One on Sunday.
The hosts looked set to bank at least a point at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre, with the score tied at 2-2 heading into the final two minutes.
But the Wildcats claimed a late winner to leave Raiders empty-handed for the weekend, following their 5-2 loss in Peterborough the night before.
Swindon’s Adam Harding was called for high sticks in the sixth minute and although Raiders could not make their power play count, they opened the scoring soon after with a superb goal from Brandon Ayliffe.
The home side, beaten 6-0 on their trip to Swindon two weeks earlier, then lost Blaho Novak to an elbowing minor penalty and home debutant Ashley Jackson for holding, giving Wildcats 30 seconds with a 5-on-3 advantage.
But they survived their shorthanded spell, only to see the visitors get back on level terms through Sam Bullas, who beat Ben Clements with four minutes left in the opening period.
However, Raiders regained the lead just 45 seconds before the break through young defenceman Callum Wells, with his first goal of the season assisted by Liam Chong and Juraj Huska.
The hosts had a power play chance early in the middle sessions when Edgars Bebris was given a high sticks penalty, but could not capitalise and then lost John Connolly on a 2+10 call for boarding.
Raiders killed off that power play and the scoreline remained unchanged until the final minute of the period when Novak was called for tripping and Swindon levelled with just nine seconds left on the clock through Chris Jones.
There was more penalty trouble for Raiders in the final period as Dan Scott was called for a delay of game minor after the puck went over the plexi glass and Novak returned to the box on a charging minor.
But the hosts survived on both occasions to set up a tense final nine minutes of action, only to succumb to defeat with just 80 seconds remaining on the clock as Jones claimed Swindon’s late winner.
Scorers, Raiders: Brandon Ayliffe 1; Callum Wells 1; Ashley Jackson 0+1; John Connolly 0+1; Juraj Huska* 0+1; Liam Chong 0+1.
Swindon: Chris Jones 2; Sam Bullas 1; Max Birbraer* 0+1; Aaron Nell 0+1; Neil Liddiard 0+1.
Shots on goal: Ben Clements (R) 14-15-22=51-3; Renny Marr (S), 7-11-7=25-2.