Ice Hockey: Swindon 6 Raiders 1

Raiders forward Brandon Ayliffe in action at Swindon (pic John Scott)

Raiders forward Brandon Ayliffe in action at Swindon (pic John Scott) - Credit: Archant

Everyone Active Raiders were left to rue a slow start as they slumped to defeat at National League leaders Swindon on Saturday.

Michael Gray and Dan Scott look on at Swindon (pic John Scott)

Michael Gray and Dan Scott look on at Swindon (pic John Scott) - Credit: Archant

Only 42 seconds had been played when Sam Bullas put the home side in front and it was 2-0 with barely three minutes played as Edgars Bebris found the net.

Loris Taylor added a third just past the four-minute mark, which saw Raiders goalie Ben Clements taken out of the firing line and replaced between the posts by Michael Gray.

But Jonas Hoog and Taylor added further goals inside the final four minutes of the opening period to leave Raiders 5-0 down at the first break and with a mountain to climb.

The visitors were hit with a bench minor penalty for having too many men on the ice early in the middle session and lost Dan Scott to a 10-minute misconduct penalty at the same time.

But when Neil Liddiard was binned for holding, they hit back with a power play goal from Aaron Connolly, before Blaho Novak and Max Birbraer were given unsportsmanlike and cross-checking minors.

The gloves came off in the final minute of the period as Mason Webster and Sam Jones clashed, with each player picking up six minutes in penalties.

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But Swindon restored their five-goal cushion early in the final period as Hoog claimed his second goal of the night.

Wildcats were given a brief spell of 5-on-3 when JJ Pitchley (interference) and Novak (kneeing) were binned in quick succession with just over 10 minutes remaining.

But understrength Raiders, without John Connolly, Matt Turner, Jake Sylvester and Liam Chong, survived the shorthanded spell, then went on the power play themselves when Liddiard was called for high sticks.

They could not manage another consolation goal, though, on a night to forget at the Link Centre, and will hope to bounce back when they welcome Basingstoke to Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday (5.30pm).

Scorers, Swindon: Loris Taylor 2, Jonas Hoog* 2, Samuel Bullas 1, Edgars Bebris 1, Max Birbraer* 0+2, Sam Jones 0+1, Chris Jones 0+1, Tyler Plews 0+1, Toms Rutkis 0+1, Ben Nethersell 0+1.

Raiders: Aaron Connolly 1, Mason Webster 0+1.

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