Cardiff ENL Devils 4, Wightlink Raiders 2
WIGHTLINK Raiders suffered another slip-up in their quest for the National Ice Hockey League Division 1 South title, with a disappointing defeat to Cardiff ENL Devils on Sunday.
The side, without player-coach Jeremy Cornish for the weekend, paid the price for a string of penalties towards the end of the game, allowing Cardiff to score twice in the final minute and take a 4-2 victory.
Raiders are now third in the league behind Chelmsford, and leaders Romford.
The game in Cardiff began with minor penalties for either side, before Raiders took the lead through Corey Watkins in the 11th minute. Roughing calls were then distributed between the teams on two occasions, before the Islanders doubled their advantage early in the second period through Richard Facey.
But the turning point came when Steve Gosset was given a two plus ten minute, for checking from behind, and Cardiff used the advantage well to pull a goal back. They then levelled five minutes later.
On the buzzer of the second period, there was more fisticuffs as Alex Murray tangled with a Welsh opponent, and for that the pair both received four penalty minutes each. And early in the third period, Nathan Taylor was ejected for a high sticks call.
In the final ten minutes, Raiders conceded two more penalties, hurting their chances of a go-ahead goal, before Cardiff delivered the final blows, scoring with 51 seconds left, and then again on the final buzzer.
Man of the match was Matt Colclough.
Wightlink Raiders 3, Milton Keynes Thunder 0
The night before, at Ryde Arena, Raiders defeated Milton Keynes Thunder 3-0 in the NIHL Cup.
After a goalless first period, the breakthrough finally came mid-way through the second session when, while shorthanded, Jiri Hanzal netted from Watkins and Nick Compton.
Just before the end of the second, Facey doubled the side’s lead, with help from Hanzal and Joe Denness, and the same three combined to score Raiders’ third, in the 44th minute.