Don McDermott saw Marek Nahlik score five points to lead London to a first win since September
Marek Nahlik and Rio Grinell-Parke scored two goals each and Michal Gray stopped 34 shots for London as they romped to a 7-1 home win against last-placed Bracknell Hornets.
The Hornets were the first to get on the scoreboard. London’s Frankie Harvey was sent to the box for tripping, and just as he returned to the ice from his penalty, Bracknell raced down the rink and scored.
But Slovakian international Nahlik, who had already made his presence felt with two early chances, responded quickly on the restart and scored the equalizer 10 seconds later.
Nahlik picked up another point within half a minute, assisting for Mason Webster’s goal to put London in the lead.
Grinell-Parke scored the first of his goals and then Michael Oravec found the net in the 29th minute, assisted by Webster and Bailey Chittock.
The Hornets had their chances on the second period. Bracknell’s Joshua Martin rushed through the defence for a breakaway chance, but Gray made a terrific sliding save.
Grinell-Parke netted his second goal with 11 seconds left in a 5-on-3 power play after the Hornets Brandon Miles and Joshua Martin were penalized for roughing after a fight.
London were 5-1 up with one period left to play, but were far from finished.
Nahlik scored a power play goal to stretch the lead to five, chasing Bracknell goalie Danny Milton, who was replaced by Mark Duffy. He proved equally helpless, allowing defenseman Liam Chong to smash in the Raiders’ seventh goal.
Tempers flared again and Miles went to the box for a second time after an ugly fight, and Oliver and Nahlik were also penalized.
Chong shrugged off the hostilities 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.”
The final buzzer sounded with the Raiders winners by six goals. Gray was named man of the match for saving 34 of the 35 shots he faced.
Chong said the Raiders needed a win after a difficult month: “It’s very important to gets points in the table. We’ve been in a rough patch but we had our full squad tonight so that made a massive difference. I thought we were more compact tonight. We defended a lot better, and I think we just capitalized on our chances.”
London, now 3-1-4 on the season, will play Milton Keynes at home next Saturday with puck drop at 5:30, before heading off to Bracknell for Sunday’s fixture.