National League Cup: London Raiders 5 Invicta Dynamos 4
PUBLISHED: 10:27 24 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:27 24 September 2017
London Raiders hold on for their first victory of the NIHL Cup campaign despite a late fightback from their rivals Invicta Dynamos.
The Lee Valley-based club moved up to second in the cup after bagging their first win on home ice this season without Callum Wells and Sam Roberts in the line-up.
Less than half a minute had been played when Alan Lack went in on Adam Rehak and both players were sent to the penalty box on roughing minors.
And Raiders opened the scoring on 47 seconds through Ollie Baldock, before doubling their advantage after barely three minutes as Brandon Ayliffe beat Damien King.
Captain Tom Davis was called for high sticks, giving Invicta a powerplay chance, but Euan King denied Scott Bailey before Marek Nahlik was given a tripping penalty and the visitors converted on their 5-on-3 chance through Josh Condren.
Raiders restored their two-goal cushion in the 14th minute, though, as Juraj Huska found the net for the first time since his return to the club.
And only a superb double save from King denied Nahlik another Raiders goal, before Lack and Rehak clashed at the end of the period, after the hosts had dominated the shot count 20-5.
Raiders ended up with a powerplay as Rehak received six minutes to Lack’s four and Seb Downing picked up a charging penalty after colliding with Euan King, before Raiders moved 4-1 up early in the middle period through JJ Pitchley.
The hosts killed off penalties against Nahlik and Olegs Lascenko, as Ondrej Zosiak fired a shot against the post, and then saw Huska denied by Damien King before Julian Smith was called for tripping Condren.
Dynamos could not capitalise and then fell 5-1 down as Huska claimed his second goal of the night in the 38th minute.
But the visitors hit back early in the final stanza as Harrison Lillis picked up a loose puck in front of Euan King’s net and blasted home and Scott Bailey forced a pad save from the Raiders keeper.
JJ McGrath was called for charging and Dynamos made it 5-3 as Callum Fowler teed up Tommy Ralph to convert on the powerplay, before Brandon Webster forced another save from Euan King.
And after Rehak closed the gap to one moments later, Raiders called a timeout to settle themselves down.
King had to be alert to save from Bailey after another break from Fowler, before Invicta’s Ryan Morgan was called for holding, but Raiders could not make the extra man count and the match remained in the balance with six minutes to play.
Raiders: Huska (2+1), Oliver Baldock (1+1), Brandon Ayliffe (1+0), Jj Pitchley (1+0), Thomas Beesley (0+1), Jake Sylvester (0+1), John Connolly (0+1), Euan King (0+1).
Dynamos: Tom Ralph (1+1), Adam Rehak (1+0), Harrison Lillis (1+0), Joshua Condren (1+0), Callum Fowler (0+2), Sebastian Downing (0+1), Ryan Morgan (0+1).