Raiders take sting out of Hornets to score seven in routine win
PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 October 2015
National League: London Raiders 7 Bracknell Hornets 1
The Raiders dominated last-place Bracknell yesterday (Saturday) at Lee Valley to secure their first win since 26 September.
The visiting Hornets controlled the first few minutes but then London began to apply the pressure. International player Marek Nahlik had two early chances, including a slap shot from the blue line that was deflected by away goalie Danny Milton.
But in the 13th minute, it was Bracknell who opened the scoring. The Raiders survived being down a man after Frankie Harvey was sent to the box for tripping, however the Hornets rushed down the ice immediately after London returned to full strength and scored.
That goal woke up the Raiders, and they drew level 10 seconds later with Nahlik scoring a much-deserved goal.
Nahlik got in on the action again half a minute after his equaliser, assisting on a Mason Webster goal to put the Raiders ahead.
London added to their lead in the second period. After a scramble in front of the net, the puck was sent out to Rio Grinell-Parke who fired it home.
Michael Oravec was later denied on a breakaway, but found the back of the net in the 29th minute with some help from Bailey Chittock and Webster.
The Hornets had a chance to cut the deficit to two at the midway point of the match. Joshua Martin raced past the defence for a breakaway, but Michael Gray made a terrific save sliding to his left.
Milton also produced some brilliant netminding, diving to stop a shot late in the period.
But the Raiders continued to press forward and the game became a bit chippy, with Bracknell’s Brandon Miles and Joshua Martin put in the box for roughing after a brief fight.
Grinell-Parke took advantage with 11 seconds left on the power play, gathering a rebound from captain Tom Davis’ blue-line slap shot to score his second goal.
The match went to the final period with the home side up 5-1, but the Raiders weren’t finished yet.
Nahlik scored another goal on a power play to extend the lead to five and Bracknell benched Milton for Mark Duffy. But he could not keep the Raiders off the scoreboard as Liam Chong scored the final goal to give the Raiders a 7-1 advantage.
Miles went to the box again after an ugly fight, whilst Oliver and Nahlik were also penalised.
Chong downplayed the fighting after the match, saying “It’s ice hockey, isn’t it? They were losing 7-1 so it’s bound to get chippy. Next weekend away to Bracknell, it’s a lot bigger ice pad, and it’s a lot harder to be chippy on a bigger ice pad.”
Gray was named man of the match after saving 34 out of 35 shots faced. The Raiders are now 3-1-4 on the season.
Chong said it was good to get three points after a challenging month of fixtures: “It’s very important to gets points in the table. We’ve been in a rough patch but we had our full squad so that made a massive difference.
“I thought we were more compact against Bracknell. We defended a lot better, and I think we just capitalised on our chances.”
London will play Milton Keynes at home next Saturday with puck drop at 5:30, before heading off to Bracknell for Sunday’s fixture.