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King rules as London Raiders silence Thunder

PUBLISHED: 08:45 31 October 2016

Euan King was back in a gold and blue jersey for London Raiders (pic John Scott)

Euan King was back in a gold and blue jersey for London Raiders (pic John Scott)

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MK Thunder 0 London Raiders 4

Marek Nahlik netted twice for Raiders in their latest win (pic John Scott)Marek Nahlik netted twice for Raiders in their latest win (pic John Scott)

Euan King enjoyed a perfect return to a London Raiders jersey with a shutout against MK Thunder last night.

King turned aside 22 shots from the hosts, while Marek Nahlik netted twice for Raiders to help secure a fine win.

Raiders travelled without Thomas Beesley and saw King pick up an early delay of game minor for firing the puck over the plexi glass.

Tom Mboya went close on the powerplay, while former Raider Jakub Klima tested King’s glove hand with a shot that looked destined for the top corner.

James Pentecost scored his first London Raiders goal against MK Thunder (pic John Scott)James Pentecost scored his first London Raiders goal against MK Thunder (pic John Scott)

But the visitors took the lead when James Pentecost finished off a good move to claim his first goal for the club.

David Wride denied Pentecost a second, while King kept out a drive from Nidal Phillips at the other end, before the Thunder player took a hooking penalty to give Raiders a powerplay.

Although they applied good pressure, Raiders could not create any clear chances and they were given another opportunity when Ross Bowers was binned for slashing.

The hosts held firm, though, and were awarded a penalty shot when Jamie Line was taken down, only for King to thwart his attempt.

Jack Cooper and Bowers had chances at either end in the closing seconds of the opening period, with Raiders forward Jacob Ranson called for holding the stick after the restart.

Line and Bowers combined well on Thunder’s powerplay, but King kept out a close-range effort and Slavomir Buda then went close to a second at the other end of the rink.

Tempers began to boil, with JJ Pitchley and Marek Nahlik both sent to the ice in separate incidents, but there were no penalty calls.

Nahlik went close to tipping in Cooper’s big shot, while Wride caught a shot from Pitchley, who was left furious at a challenge by Ryan Coffey.

Both players received minor penalties to leave the two sides skating 4-on-4, but Pitchley returned to the ice to link up well with Buda and Ranson, who was denied by a diving Wride as the scoreline remained unchanged after 40 minutes.

Strong defensive work by Julian Smith prevented Klima getting on the end of a pass from Bowers at the start of the third period, before Raiders doubled their advantage through Buda’s unassisted effort.

And the visitors went 3-0 up less than a minute later as Nahlik fired into the bottom left corner of the net from close to the face-off circle.

A stunning point-blank save from Wride denied Raiders a fourth, as the home side were kept under pressure, but he had no chance with Nahlik’s second goal of the night, as the Slovakian banged home a pass from captain Tom Davis with just over five minutes remaining.

King held firm in the closing stages to preserve his clean sheet and give Raiders increased hope for the season.

Scorers, Raiders: Marek Nahlik* 2+1 James Pentecost 1+1 Slavomir Buda* 1 Tom Davis 0+3.

Penalty minutes: M Keynes 8 Raiders 6.

Shots faced: David Wride (MK) 14-14-18=46=4 Euan King (L) 6-11-5=22-0.

Referee: Jurijs Solovjovs.

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