ICE HOCKEYWightlink Raiders 10, Milton Keynes Thunder 2
AFTER losing to Milton Keynes twice this season, an impressive Wightlink Raiders finally made amends with a comprehensive win at Ryde Arena on Saturday.
Despite still-banned player-coach Jeremy Cornish watching from the stands, Raiders were comprehensive in their performance, with steady goals and a range of different scorers.
It took them some time to settle, with Alex Murray netting unassisted with 11 minutes on the clock. And after a flurry of minor penalties, they scored on the powerplay, Richard Facey doubling their advantage.
The early minutes of the second period featured a string of Raiders goals as they extended their advantage over their visitors.
Import star Joe Rand, another for Murray and a goal for Arran Strawson put real space between the sides.
Strawson bagged his second on the half hour, with man of the match Kieran Annis getting in on the act just 30 seconds later.
Milton Keynes scored two goals, one either side of the period buzzer, to narrow the gap slightly, but Raiders cancelled those efforts out with goals from Dominic Hopkins — on a delayed penalty — Grant Rounding and finally, captain Damon Larter.
Seven different scorers on the night proved the side’s strength in depth, and with the play-offs looming, this has given coach Cornish real confidence.
Romford Raiders 4, Wightlink Raiders 4
The first leg of the annual Raiders Cup took place on Sunday and Raiders came away from Essex with a great result.
They came from 2-0 down to draw the clash, with all to play for in the second leg, which takes place on February 18 at Ryde Arena.
Romford opened an early lead in the first period with goals from Davis and Turner, but Joe Rand was on hand again to narrow the deficit and, early in the second period, and while on the powerplay, he netted again to level the scores.
Romford’s import star Huska restored their lead before the break, before two third-period goals from Hopkins and Rounding gave Raiders the lead.
Only a second goal from Huska in the final 15 minutes levelled the scores to set up a tantalising decider.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Raiders return to English National League action when they host Bracknell Hornets. Face-off at Ryde Arena is at 6pm.