Up and Down Weekend for Raiders

The London Raiders remained in fourth place in the National League South Division 1 despite an undeserved defeat to Invicta Dynamos but edged out the Milton Keynes Thunder. Don McDermott reports.

The Raiders outshot Invicta with 42 attempts on goal to Dynamos’ 23, at the Lee Valley Ice Centre on Saturday, but the second-placed visitors pulled out a 4-3 victory after dominating the second half of the match.

Brandon Miles opened the scoring in the ninth minute for the Raiders, but the advantage was short-lived as Adam Řehák equalized four minutes later on a Dynamos’ powerplay.

Jake Pitchley restored the East Londoners’ lead in the 25th minute, but six minutes later the Raiders lost their advantage for good. Bailey Wootton scored the first of his two goals, and a minute later Steven Osman put Invicta in the lead.

Wootton scored an unassisted goal at the start of the third stanza to give Invicta a 4-2 lead. London pounded in 14 shots on goal in the period, but were only able to pull one goal back, with Thomas Beesley notching one with just a few minutes left.

Invicta saw out those remaining minutes and left the Raiders home with the full two points.

On Sunday, London were involved in another close game as they travelled to Milton Keynes in a bid to silence the sixth-placed Thunder.

Once again, the Raiders were first on the scoreboard, this time courtesy of Alan Lack, who was assisted on the goal by Slovakian international Slavomir Buda.

Straight off the faceoff, the Raiders added a second goal, with Sam Roberts finding the back of the net.

In the second period, Tom Mboya scored to pull Milton Keynes within striking distance, but Buda restored the two-goal advantage in the 37th minute, assisted by Matt France and captain Tom Davis.

A 56th-minute goal from Milton Keynes’ Connor Goode gave the Thunder some hope, but London stood firm and secured the 3-2 triumph.

The Raiders have next weekend off, before returning with an away doubleheader, facing bottom of the table Bracknell Hornets on Saturday, 11 February, and table-topping Chelmsford Chieftains on Sunday.