Man of the match Richard Facey.
Wightlink Raiders 8, Bracknell Hornets 2
WIGHTLINK Raiders got their NIHL Division 1 South campaign back on track with a comprehensive win over Bracknell Hornets on Saturday night — with a little help elsewhere as well.
With two points in the bag at Ryde Arena, news filtered through that Streatham Redskins had pulled off a major shock by beating leaders Romford Raiders 4-2, meaning the Islanders are now a touch closer to challenging for the top spot again.
They helped their own cause with a good all-round performance against Bracknell, scoring at regular intervals. Recent talk of how Raiders could defend but rarely score was thrown out of the window here.
The game took a while to settle and the deadlock was broken in the tenth minute through player-coach Jeremy Cornish. Though the Hornets equalised through Tom Fisher, Cornish was on hand at 17.22 to regain the lead. Fellow import Jiri Hanzal made sure Bracknell would not get back into the game just 15 seconds later, scoring from the restart to make it 3-1.
A good first period was topped with a goal at 18.20 from Nathan Taylor.
The second period was far quieter with a goal for each side, Craig Tribe’s early effort cancelled out by Nicholas Minhinnick.
But Raiders were again in control in the final period, Hanzal netting his second of the game with a strike on the powerplay at 46.20, before goals in the final ten minutes from Taylor and Robbie Brown sealed the win.
Richard Facey, who had a hand in five of the eight goals, was man of the match.
Also gaining points on the night were Nick Compton, Alex Murray and new signing James Smith, a Scottish forward who has joined the Islanders on a two-way contract with EPL’s Basingstoke Bison.
He provided the pass for Cornish’s first goal to delight a small but dedicated bunch of Raiders fans who journeyed through the snow to watch the action on ice.
Tomorrow (Saturday) there will be a new-look Wightlink Raiders side taking to the ice at Ryde, as they ditch their usual kit for charity.
Taking on their fierce rivals and the current leaders, Romford, Wightlink will be wearing a pink kit, raising money for Breast Cancer charities. Coach Cornish is also wearing custom-made pink and white gloves, which will be auctioned off after the match.
All the shirts have already been auctioned off but there will plenty more ways to donate to the cause at the game. Face off is at 6pm.