Wightlink Raiders 2, Chelmsford Chieftains 4
THE Raiders fell to their first defeat of the season, going down to defending play off champions, the Chelmsford Chieftains, in the NIHL Trophy play offs.
The Chieftains arrived late but the face-off ran to time and it was the visitors who caught the Raiders cold and had the game won by the midway point of the first period.
After four minutes, Chelmsford’s star import, Julius Sinkovic, put them ahead with a soft shot.
This seemed to rattle the Raiders and Chieftains put the game to bed early with two fine goals from Thomas Ranby and Alex Green by the ninth minute.
Jeremy Cornish called a timeout to get the team defending properly again and they did tighten up defensively.
However, against a team of the quality of the Chieftains a three-goal deficit was always too much.
The Raiders started the second period brightly and Nick Compton pulled one back on the powerplay at 22.46. The Raiders went on to dominate the first part of the second period and were unlucky not to reduce the margin further.
But as the period wore on the Chieftains took more and more of the play and Sinkovic broke away at 39.12 to restore the visitors’ three-goal lead.
The Raiders had the best of the final period without ever seriously threatening to pull the game back.
Alex Murray completed the scoring at 48.42 but, despite the Raiders best efforts, the Chieftains retained control and saw the game out for what was in the end a comfortable victory.