The London Raiders inflicted an embarrassing 11-1 home defeat on the Invicta Dynamos on Sunday night leaving the Gillingham side still without points in the NIHL Cup Group C.
Having beaten the Mos 5-4 on home ice just a week before, the Raiders likely fancied their chances of a road win and they were ahead as early as 02.09 – Sean Barry’s long drive finding the pads of netminder Damien King but Juraj Huska roofing the rebound for 1-0.
Tempers then flared at 02.25 – London goalie Eaun King making a meal of a loose puck behind the net and losing out to Sebastian Downing before holding the forward to prevent him making the most of the mistake. Raiders’ Jack Cooper bizarrely read this as an attempt by Downing to harm the netminder and began landing blows on the Invicta junior who went to ground for safety. King was given 2 for holding and both Downing and Cooper 2 for roughing.
At 04.28 the visitors were looking to scrap again – Joshua Condren trying to poke home a loose puck on the edge of the crease and Sean Barry reacting with immediate punches to the face of the Mos forward who was unable to reply. Controversially, having been jumped and not thrown a punch, Condren was given the same punishment as Barry – 2 for roughing whilst the anger of the home bench drew another 2 for abuse of the official. When play restarted Callum Fowler danced around his man wide right to go clear on goal but was then hauled down on the edge of the crease by Andrew Munroe who would sit for holding. However, despite being a skater light, the Raiders netted on the powerplay to lead 2-0 at 12.06 – a long pass out from the back putting Matt Turner clear and he coolly shifted onto the backhand and tucked beyond King.
More trouble followed at 15.07 – London’s John McGrath unnecessarily skating through netminder Damien King and launching him into the goal frame. McGrath was immediately confronted by Mason Webster who ditched the gloves before reigning blows on his opponent – McGrath unable to offer any in reply. The Raiders 41 received 5+game for charging and 2+2 for roughing, Webster just the 2+2.
On the extended powerplay the Mos finally answered – Adam Rehak gathering a rebound right in front and bundling beyond Euan King at the second attempt to cut the deficit to 2-1 at 15.07. However it was the visitors who finished the stronger and added two more without reply to lead 4-1 with 20 minutes gone. At 18.25 a lightning fast counter ended with Jake Sylvester finishing off Juraj Huska’s pass across the crease before, at 19.15, Jack Cooper’s drive through traffic flew past an unsighted Damien King for the three goal cushion.
In the second period the Dynamos needed to up their performance but regularly flustered in front of net whilst glaring defensive errors repeatedly gifted the visitors chances. At 27.53 they capitalised – Brandon Ayliffe’s pass putting Marel Nahlik in behind and the Slovak tucking low inside the far post for 5-1. It was six at 28.52 – the Mos defence again all at sea as Juraj Husk’a shot from close right was padded into the path of Oliver Baldock at the back post for an easy finish.
Head Coach Kevin Parrish called a timeout to stop the rot and the hosts could have answered when Callum Fowler found Scott Bailey in the slot but he misconnected and his shot went tamely wide.
On a night of physical encounters there was then almost another at 35.35 – Callum Burnett with a hit on the blind side of Sebastian Downing away from the puck that saw Brandon Webster see red and race in for retribution. Webster slipped before he could reach his man and the two exchanged a few shoves before being separated.
When play restarted the Raiders then added goal number seven – the Mos rear guard static as Jake Pitchley found Marek Nahlik close right and he roofed over Damien King at 38.14.
In the final period Damien King was replaced by John Dibble in net but the frame started badly for the hosts who immediately lost Adam Rehak to a leg injury with no obvious cause. It then went from bad to worse as the visitors continued to ensure their dominance showed on the scoreboard with another four unanswered goals.
The quartet began at 46.48 – Brandon Ayliffe showing great hands to dance around the outside of Ryan Morgan, skate across the crease and force under Dibble from point blank range for 8-1. The second came on the powerplay at 49.55 – George Hoang in the box for boarding as Oliver Baldock was adjudged to have tipped Juraj Huska’s blue line drive right in front to take it away from the hand of the netminder.
The misery continued to mount for the Mos at 54.15 – for the umpteenth time on the night the Raiders escaping 2-on-1 and Juraj Huska easily despatching Jake Sylvester’s pass to the back post. The humiliation was then complete at 55.24 – Jake Pitchley allowed to stand unmarked on the edge of the crease like he wasn’t considered a threat and stabbing home following a pass to goal from the boards by Olegs Lascenko to seal an 11-1 rout.
So, in short, it was a disaster from the Dynamos who failed to perform all across the ice to suffer a third consecutive defeat. Having arrived with a roughing plan, the Raiders made their mark then picked off their chances as the hosts presented them with countless scoring opportunities. Man of the match awards went to John Connolly of the visitors and the ever battling Sebastian Downing of the Dynamos.
Written by Paul Bennett.