Spring Cup: Raiders 2 Telford 5

Harry Gulliver and Zach Sullivan in action for Raiders

Harry Gulliver and Zach Sullivan in action for Raiders against Telford - Credit: John Scott

Everyone Active Raiders conceded four goals in the final period to fall to a second successive Spring Cup defeat against Telford.

Edged out 3-2 in Shropshire in their first outing of the shortened season on Saturday, Raiders looked set to redress the balance as they led 2-1 early in the third session.

But Tigers roared back with a quickfire double, then struck twice more in the closing stages to give the final scoreline a more flattering look.

Raiders take the knee in Telford

Raiders took the knee in their first match of the Spring Cup at Telford - Credit: John Scott

Raiders take the knee in Telford

Raiders took the knee in their first match of the Spring Cup at Telford - Credit: John Scott

Only 34 seconds had been played when Jake Sylvester fired Raiders in front with a shot from the right wing.

But they had a let-off when JJ Pitchley was called for tripping and Jonathan Weaver hit the crossbar during Telford's powerplay.

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Pitchley had a shot saved by Jordan Hedley, before Ethan James denied Cole Shudra at the other end and Rick Plant and Corey Goodison shot wide of the mark.

Hedley kept out another Pitchley attempt and also thwarted Tommy Huggett before Raiders went on a powerplay after Kieran Brown was binned for cross-checking.

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But Tigers survived and, after Aaron Connolly and Huggett had been denied by Hedley, the visitors drew level through Joe Aston in the 18th minute.

James made saves to keep out Sam Jones and Scott McKenzie early in the middle period, before Ross Venus and Daniel Rose were binned for tripping just 11 seconds apart.

Sylvester, Erik Piatak and Harry Gulliver all had chances during the 5-on-3 and Juraj Huska fired over once Tigers had returned to four skaters.

Dan Scott's block denied Finley Howells as Telford rallied, but Shudra was then sent to the penalty box for tripping before Jason Silverthorn and Ollie Baldock were binned for cross-checking and elbows respectively.

Raiders goalie Ethan James

Raiders goalie Ethan James focuses in the net - Credit: John Scott

And there further coincidental penalties for Raiders defenceman Callum Wells and Telford's Goodison just before the midway mark for charging and a late hit.

Aaron Connolly fired just wide before Gulliver was binned for tripping to give Tigers a powerplay chance, with Jack Cooper following him to the penalty box 17 seconds later to leave the visitors with a 5-on-3.

Weaver fired wide, as the Raiders penalty killers did their jobs, and Jones had another attempt blocked before James saved from Austin Mitchell-King.

And Piatak saw Hedley keep out his effort towards the end of the period, as the scoreline remained unchanged at the 40-minute mark.

The final period was only seven seconds old when Weaver was called for tripping, but Tigers produced a good penalty kill as Piatak was denied a shooting chance by Rose.

Hedley saved from Brandon Ayliffe, before Tigers countered and Brown saw his shot come to no avail, and Raiders took the lead for the second time on the night when captain Connolly saw his shot saved and Sean Barry pounced to convert the rebound at 43:27.

The home side's joy was shortlived, though, as Tigers were quickly back on level terms through Venus and then turned the game on its head as they took the lead at 45:09 when Jones beat James.

Great Britain international Robert Lachowicz then opened up a two-goal gap with just under five minutes left to play, but Shudra was then called for kneeing and Rose received a 2+10 penalty for boarding to give Raiders a 5-on-3 chance for 1:45.

But after calling a timeout and deciding to pull James to make it a 6-on-3, they saw Silverthorn claim an empty-net goal and make it 5-2, ending the game as a contest once and for all.

Telford killed off both penalties and Raiders ended the match one short after Ben Solder was given a slashing penalty with 1:19 left on the clock.

Raiders take the knee in Telford

Raiders took the knee in their first match of the Spring Cup at Telford - Credit: John Scott

Next weekend sees Raiders go head-to-head with Sheffield Steeldogs, with a trip to Yorkshire on Saturday followed by another home outing back at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre the following night.

Raiders: Jake Sylvester 1, Sean Barry 1, Ollie Baldock 0+1, Aaron Connolly 0+1.

Tigers: Ross Venus 1+2, Robert Lachowicz 1+1, Joe Aston 1, Sam Jones 1, Jason Silverthorn 1, Danny Rose 0+1, Jonathan Weaver 0+1, Sam Watkins 0+1, Cole Shudra 0+1, Scott McKenzie 0+1.

Penalty minutes: Raiders 12 Tigers 30.

Shots on goal: Ethan James (R) 16-10-11=37-4 Empty Net 1-1; Jordan Hedley (T) 12-13-12=37-2.

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