National League Cup: Swindon 8 London Raiders 0
PUBLISHED: 20:47 13 January 2018 | UPDATED: 20:47 13 January 2018
Raiders saw their hopes of progressing to the National League Cup semi-finals dented by a heavy first-leg defeat in Wiltshire on Saturday.
Raiders had been edged out 3-2 in a league meeting on their previous trip to the Link Centre and arrived missing only Alan Lack from their squad.
But they were unable to take advantage of an early power play chance, when Chris Jones was called for boarding, and then lost Jack Cooper on a tripping penalty.
Swindon opened the scoring while Raiders were shorthanded as Max Birbraer netted on assists from Aaron Nell and Jones in the eighth minute, but the goalscorer was binned for hooking not long after.
Raiders thought they had drawn level on the power play as the puck found the net, but the referee washed it out much to their frustration.
And the visitors were left fuming as Wildcats saw Sam Bullas convert on another power play of their own, as Cooper served a holding penalty, to double their lead in the 15th minute.
Swindon’s Sam Godfrey was binned for roughing in the final minute of the opening period, but Raiders could not capitalise before the break.
And after seeing Sean Barry binned in the 26th minute on a holding penalty, they saw Jones net Swindon’s third power play goal of the night just six seconds later.
Further penalties against Callum Wells (clipping) and goalie Michael Gray (delay of game) were killed off, but Swindon scored three more times in the closing 7:16 of the middle session to take a firm grip on the tie.
Jones grabbed his second and Swindon’s fourth, assisted by Jan Kostal, and Nell made it 5-0 after Birbraer and Oliver Stone combined.
Then Edgars Bebris got in on the act with number six, assisted by Jones and former Romford junior Toms Rutkis 47 seconds before the buzzer to leave Raiders with a mountain to climb.
Jones completed his hat-trick six minutes into the final period and a miserable night was completed with just 13 seconds left on the clock when Rutkis netted on another Swindon power play, after Tom Davis was binned for high sticks.