Bracknell Bees 6 - 4 Raiders IHC

Picture: Kevin Slyfield
September 15, 2018 - 18:00 at John Nike Leisure

Beaten 5-2 and 6-3 by the Bees in home and away challenge matches a week earlier, they gave themselves hope in this latest meeting with the scores level after 40 minutes.

But the home side scored twice inside the last eight minutes to skate off with both points.

Harvey Stead had the first chance of the night for the hosts, before Aaron Connolly tested Dean Skinns at the other end.

A tripping call against Ben Paynter gave Raiders the first power play, but Josh Smith sent a shorthanded chance over for the Bees, before Connolly fired too high for the visitors.

Juraj Huska fired over from the right, before Bees opened the scoring through Shaun Thompson, who fired through the skates of Michael Gray.

A slashing call against Brandon Ayliffe gave the home side their first power play chance, but Huska forced Skinns to save while Raiders were a man down.

Another slashing call, against Dan Scott, proved costly, though, as Bees doubled their lead with a power play goal from Roman Malinik in the 16th minute.

And it was 3-0 a little over a minute later as Stead’s effort on net was only half-stopped by Gray and Malinik potted the rebound.

A holding penalty against Joe Baird gave Raiders a power play chance at the end of the first period, with Huska firing into the chest of Skinns, before John Connolly’s drive was deflected in by Mason Webster.

And it was a one-goal game early in the middle period as Scott dumped the puck into Bracknell’s end and Blaho Novak capitalised on the home side’s failure to clear.

Malinik went close to completing his hat-trick on the next shift, while Liam Chong called Skinns into action after a break on the wing.

A delay of game penalty against Novak gave Bees a power play chance, but Raiders drew level while shorthanded as Ayliffe teed up Chong for a finish into the roof of the net.

Malinik and Thompson fired wide as Bracknell looked to regain the initiative, but then JJ Pitchley went close at point-blank range as Skinns saved.

Ivan Antonov had one shot blocked and sent another high as Matt Turner served an interference minor, but gave Bees the lead again in the 36th minute after skating out from behind the net and firing past Gray.

Their joy was shortlived, though, as Jake Sylvester and Scott combined to set up Turner for an equaliser towards the end of the middle frame.

Malinik had the first chance of the final period, speeding away and firing over, before Bees were caught with too many men on the ice.

Raiders could not make the power play count, but Turner had a chance once the hosts were back to full strength, only to be denied by Edward Knaggs, who then saw a shot at the other end deflected by Antonov and saved by Gray.

Bracknell got their noses back in front with seven minutes remaining, though, when Ryan Sutton won a battle for the puck and found Smith to net from close range, although Antonov was awarded the goal.

Knaggs had a wristshot saved by Gray, before Mark Galazzi was called for clipping Webster and Skinns saved from Scott on the Raiders power play.

Galazzi and Webster were then binned on delay of game minors with less than four minutes to play, with Scott making a vital block before Gray’s dramatic save denied Aidan Doughty.

But Bees made sure of the points with 104 seconds left on the clock as Antonov swapped passes with Smith before finding the net.

Raiders called a timeout after the goal and removed Gray for an extra skater inside the final minute, but could not find a reply and return to Romford to host Streatham at the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday (5.15pm).

Report courtesy of the Romford Recorder. Header image by Kevin Slyfield

Copyright Raiders Ice Hockey 2018