An Ashley Jackson goal 16 seconds into overtime was all that decided the game on Sunday night as the Invicta Dynamos came from 3-2 down to secure a 4-3 home win against the Junior Raiders and complete a four point weekend.
In the opening frame the Mos were dominant with the ice seemingly heavily tilted in one direction. Tom Davis struck the crossbar from wide right before the hosts then took the lead at 05.26. Jack Flynn’s shot was saved by Nikolajs Romahs but the skater collected his own rebound then teed up Juraj Huska right in front who steered around the netminder to make it 1-0.
The Dynamos then created several opportunities for a second which duly followed at 09.10 – Ashley Jackson’s effort from the right circle was padded into the path of Mason Webster point blank left and he tucked away the rebound on the backhand for the 2-0 edge.
The Raiders only came into the tie in the final five minutes of the frame – Kaloyan Popov ringing the upright from close range and they were unable to find a route beyond Ben Clements to cut into the deficit before the break.
In the second period fortunes were completely reversed as the Mos lacked quality and hustle whilst the visitors rallied and battled back. At 25.29 Jack Flynn was robbed in his own zone by Dylan Holicka allowing Samuel Robinson to then slam just inside the far post from the right circle to make it 2-1. Clements was then required to make a number of saves to preserve his team’s lead but even his defiance was eventually undone at 34.21 as the Raiders levelled it up. A long diagonal found Robinson entering the final third down the right channel and, with no-one for company, he elected for a speculative low drive towards the far post that eluded the netminder and gave the forward his second of the night.
Just before time wound down tensions then flared at 39.34 – Jack Flynn and Alan Lack traded shoves and then punches in front of the Raiders net after a brief scramble. Flynn landed the blows whilst Lack wrestled his opponent to the ground via the leg. Both received five minutes for fighting.
In the final frame the Raiders completed the turnaround and were ahead at 45.13 – Ben Clements saved Luca Pascale’s effort from close left but the rebound was quickly converted by Vilius Krakauskas right in front to put the visitors 3-2 up. Moments later the tie could have been all but put to bed but for an outstanding double save by Clements to rob both Kaloyan Popov and James Hounsome.
At this point the hosts gained new energy and began to chase the game – frequently knocking on the door for a late equaliser. Jack Flynn fired over from yards out whilst Matt Foord was denied at point blank range. At 53.04 the Dynamos broke through – Harrison Lillis’ flick sending Juraj Huska down the left channel and he skipped around the outside of Gian Pascale before tucking inside the top far corner for 3-3.
With the clock winding down the Mos pushed for a winner and only netminder Nikolajs Romahs sent the game into overtime with a string of late saves to keep the Raiders in the hunt for points. That hunt was killed just 16 seconds into the additional period – Ashley Jackson entering the zone down the left side, beating Donald Campbell on the outside and tucking between the legs of the goalie for a dramatic winner.
So it was a somewhat hit and miss performance from the Mos who dominated then disappeared and then dominated again and ultimately took the win to secure a four point weekend. Plenty to work on and excusable given the early stage of the season but a late winner and a raucous home crowd were a fine reminder of what we had all missed during the lengthy Covid suspension.