Seven-up Dynamos down Raiders
PUBLISHED: 22:00 20 December 2015 | UPDATED: 22:00 20 December 2015
National League: Invicta 7 London Raiders 1
London Raiders go into Christmas on the back of a disappointing defeat at the hands of the Dynamos, for whom the returning Callum Fowler fired a hat-trick at Gillingham.
Fowler was back in an Invicta jersey after leaving the EPL Bracknell Bees and his goals bookended the home side’s win after a typically feisty encounter.
One of the main talking points surrounded the match penalty against Raiders Liam Chong, late in the second period for a hit on former London team-mate Josh Condren, with the score standing at 2-0.
Raiders conceded twice more on the powerplay to end any faint hopes of a comeback, but fans were particularly frustrated with Condren, feeling he had embellished the situation.
The visitors, with David Oliver, Frankie Harvey and Rob Jenner back in their line-up after the previous night’s 10-4 win over Streatham, had the first chance of the night as Michal Oravec tipped Mark Robinson’s blue line blast just wide.
But a hooking penalty against Robinson then gave the home side a powerplay and Fowler tapped in at the far post from Steve Osman’s pass.
Michael Gray denied Nicky Lewis and Jacob Ranson in quick succession as Invicta went in search of a second, before Conor Redmond was called for hooking to hand Raiders a man advantage.
But the visitors fell further behind as Gray left his crease to play the puck and Fowler capitalised to claim a shorthanded goal.
Gray redeemed himself with a fine glove save to thwart Osman, before Elliot Dewey headed to the bin on a slashing call.
Raiders went close on this powerplay as Chong found Marek Nahlik, only for Damien King to produce a good save, and Mason Webster hit a post from close range with the Dynamos goalie scrambling.
But despite edging the shot count 12-8, the visitors could not find a way through before the first break.
There was more frustration after the restart as Sam Roberts found himself clear in front of the net but could not convert on the backhand.
And Dynamos killed off a boarding penalty against Eriks Ozollapa – returning from a two-match suspension after his match penalty at Lee Valley a week earlier – and a cross-checking call against Andy Henderson, as King held on to Rio Grinell-Parke’s shot.
But Gray was then called upon to keep out Redmond and Osman at point-blank range at the other end.
Chong sent Condren crashing to the ice soon after, which enraged Grant Baxter and led to some pushing and shoving.
And after some discussion, the officials deemed it worthy of a match penalty for interference, which handed Invicta a five-minute powerplay to finish the middle period.
Ranson saw his shot from the left bounce just beyond the post, before Ondrej Zosiak tucked Redmond’s pass between the legs of Gray to make it 3-0.
And Dynamos added a fourth just 33 seconds later as Ozollapa’s shot came back off the pads of Gray and Osman converted the rebound to end the match as a contest.
Fowler had a chance to complete his hat-trick early in the final period but fired over and Redmond went close from a Lewis pass, before Henderson turned the puck over to Jenner, who fired off the underside of the crossbar.
Raiders ended King’s shutout hopes when Webster bundled the puck home from Nahlik’s pass in the 48th minute, but Oliver was binned for hooking soon after and Invicta restored their four-goal cushion on the powerplay through Lewis.
Osman made it 6-1, tapping in at the far post after Fowler’s mazy skate, before Webster traded blows with Harrison Lillis and both players picked up a total of six minutes in penalties.
And Jenner joined them in the box on a slashing call soon after to give Dynamos another powerplay chance with just over six minutes remaining.
Raiders survived the shorthanded spell, but man of the match Fowler completed his treble soon after, tapping in after more good work from linemates Ozollapa and Osman.
And the gloves came off again with 16 seconds left as Jack Lee clashed with Gray in his crease, provoking an angry response from the Raiders goalie that saw both pick up roughing double minors as a footnote to the action.
Scorers, Invicta: Callum Fowler 3+2 Steve Osman 2+2 Ondrej Zosiak* 1+1 Nicky Lewis 1+1 Eriks Ozollapa* 0+4 Conor Redmond 0+1.
Raiders: Mason Webster 1 Marek Nahlik* 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Invicta 18 Raiders 41.
Shots on goal: Damien King (I) 12-8-11=31-1 Michael Gray (L) 8-13-12=33-7.
Referee: Tom Stephenson.