Raiders IHC 8 - 0 Bristol Pitbulls

March 10, 2024 - 17:15 at Sapphire Ice & Leisure

On Sunday, the Raiders needed to bounce back at home against bottom placed Bristol Pitbulls after coming out of Telford with nothing. This became a must-win game for the Raiders as they push for the final playoff spots.
The Pitbulls heading into this game had nothing to lose, as they are unable to qualify for the playoffs, meaning the Raiders needed to capitalize on this opportunity and take maximum points from the game.

A different start from Saturday’s game for the Raiders as they took an early three-goal lead with 16-year-old Joe Tomalin having the pick of the bunch after an inch-perfect stretch pass from Pascale.
The Pitbulls, now chasing the game, allowed the Raiders to keep applying pressure, but the Pitbulls’ netminder Ben Norton was standing tall.

Jacob White-Sey lost his temper late in the first period and tried to fight with a Raider, but Jesper Eriksson was unwilling, leading to a five-minute fighting major or White-Sey.

Pitbulls thought they were on the scoreboard through Adam Harding, celebrating but no goal as Ethan James gloved the puck out of the air before it went in the goal.

The second period began in the same fashion, with the Raiders adding to their lead with a good combination from Eriksson and Norcliffe, who teed up Ayliffe in front. The Raiders began to cruise in the game, adding another two goals, giving them a 6-0 lead with goals from Sylvester and Anderson.

Going into the third period with a comfortable lead, the Pitbulls were becoming frustrated, which saw import Tanner Butler pick up their second five-minute major of the game with a check to the head to Tomalin, in front of the Pitbulls bench.

Some Pitbulls players continued to lose their heads, allowing the referees to call more penalties, giving the Raiders a 5 on 3 powerplay opportunity, despite having a six-goal lead.

To start the powerplay, we saw Pitbulls Kyle Pow and Callum Wells go toe-to-toe, a good tilt, leading to the Pitbulls having four men in their penalty box, standing room only.

The Raiders capitalized on the man advantage, with Sylvester finding a lane and putting it beyond the fresh netminder Dean Skinns who replaced Norton at the beginning of the period. With the game coming to an end, Sylvester, with 12 seconds to go, managed to complete his second hat trick of the weekend and seal an 8-0 shutout home win, Ethan James facing 22 shots.

The Raiders’ man of the match went to defenseman Elliot Dewey after picking up an assist and delivering a solid defensive display on his birthday.

Raiders scoring: Jake Sylvester 3+1, Zack Milton 1+3, Coy Prevost 0+3, Adam Laishram 1+1, Thomas Relf 0+2, Joe Tomalin 1+0, Tjay Anderson 1+0, Brandon Ayliffe 1+0, Elliot Dewey 0+1, Marco Pascale 0+1, Jesper Eriksson 0+1, Aaron Connolly 0+1, George Norcliffe 0+1

The two points secured over the weekend will be crucial after other playoff contenders Solway and Bees picked up three and two points respectively over the weekend from their games, leaving the Raiders with more work to do to ensure they qualify.

Next weekend, the Raiders face the Bees away on Friday in an important fixture for both teams as they seek the final playoff spots. On Saturday, the Pitbulls are back in Romford and on Sunday, the Peterborough Phantoms come to the Sapphire, and the Raiders will want to maintain their hot goal-scoring form heading into these matches.

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