Ice hockey: Cardiff Fire 6 Raiders 5
PUBLISHED: 08:51 02 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:51 02 December 2018
Everyone Active Raiders returned home from Wales empty-handed after an 11-goal thriller in National League Division Two on Saturday.
Ben Pitchley’s young squad headed west on a three-game winning run and looked set for another victory as they led 3-0 in the middle session and then 5-3 in the third period.
But the hosts hit back in a dramatic finale to deny them any reward and ensure a miserable trip back to Romford.
The gloves came off in the opening period as Clint Walton tussled with Bryant, with Raiders ending up on a power play after a tripping call against Elliott Murdoch.
Tommy Huggett opened the scoring during the man advantage, before penalties against George Gell and Alan Lack were killed off, while Callum Burnett was binned for roughing after a clash with Elias.
Cardiff had a great chance to level when they were awarded a penalty shot but Jackson Price hit the crossbar.
And Raiders doubled their lead with another power play goal from Huggett after Joey Morris was binned for abuse of official.
Morris and former Raider Ross Wilkinson also fell foul of the referee and Ewan Hill put Raiders 3-0 up during the spell of 5-on-3, before Stephen Deacon – another ex-Raider – pulled a goal back for the home side.
Morris made it a one-goal game with a Cardiff power play goal early in the final period and Jordan Powell levelled it up at 3-3.
Raiders regained the lead, though, with around 10 minutes remaining through Kamil Kinkor and moved 5-3 ahead as Matt Brown netted to seemingly set up a fourth successive victory.
But Fire kept their hopes alive with a fourth goal and, after Lack was called for tripping, squared matters on the power play to set up a tense final six minutes.
A roughing call against Lack sent Cardiff back on the power play and they made it count as Powell completed his hat-trick with the winning goal.
Raiders will look to bounce back quickly when they host Basingstoke Buffalo at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre tonight (Sunday, December 2) at 5.30pm in their last home game of 2018.