London Raiders end long winless run
PUBLISHED: 10:55 28 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:55 28 February 2016
National League: London Raiders 8 MK Thunder 2
London Raiders snapped a 14-match winless streak in convincing style, cruising to a comfortable triumph over the Milton Keynes Thunder in front of a riotous home crowd at Lee Valley last night.
Man-of-the-match Marek Nahlik and captain Tom Davis each found the back of the net twice for the Raiders, while Mason Webster, Matt France, TJ Fillery and Michal Oravec also scored for the East London squad.
Raiders dominated the early stages and it was only a matter of time before they went ahead.
In the sixth minute, Nahlik took the puck into the offensive zone and unleashed a slapshot that sneaked in over the glove of Thunder netminder Spencer Caminsky.
The Raiders proved to a short-benched Thunder side just how tough the match would be after their own defenceman Mark Robinson was penalised for hooking, giving the visitors a powerplay.
The home side held on to the puck possession for nearly the entire penalty kill, taking several dangerous shots to pile the pressure on the Thunder.
And aAfter returning to full strength the Raiders continued to press forward and Davis claimed his first goal towards the end of the period.
Another Nahlik slapshot bounced off the chest of Caminsky and David Oliver’s close-range shot was also blocked, but Davis collected the puck and fired off a quick shot from the left face-off circle to score.
Nahlik picked up another assist just 90 seconds into the second period as Webster scored to extend the lead to 3-0.
London then piled on the goals midway through the period as France, Davis and Fillery all notched in a span of four minutes.
Now trailing 6-0, the Thunder took a 30-second timeout to regroup and shocked the Raiders by scoring two goals in 13 seconds through skipper Jamie Line and Tom Mboya.
But the Raiders stifled the comeback and still led by four goals heading into the final period.
Oravec impressed with a tough-angle goal from the side of the net just 2.30 into the closing sessions and then Nahlik used his power to blast in his second goal to complete the rout.
Slovakian Nahlik finished with five points as the Raiders celebrated a victory for the first time since mid-December when they enjoyed a similar trouncing of Streatham Redskins.
The win gives Raiders a seven-point cushion in eighth place as they try to stay in the play-off places and they travel to take on ninth-placed Bracknell tonight.
Scorers, Raiders: Marek Nahlik* 2+3 Tom Davis 2 Mason Webster 1+2 TJ Fillery 1 Matt France 1 Michal Oravec* 1 Rio Grinell-Parke 0+2 John Connolly 0+1 Bailey Chittock 0+1 David Oliver 0+1 Seb Downing 0+1 Evander Grinell 0+1.
Thunder: Jamie Line 1+1 Tom Mboya 1 Ross Bowers 0+1 Nathan Long 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 14 Thunder 4.
Shots on goal: Michael Gray (L) 26-2 Spencer Caminsky (MK) 40-8.
Referees: Don Campbell/Phil O’Neill.