Jeremy Cornish celebrates Raiders’ opener. Picture by Nicky Craft.
Wightlink Raiders 9, London Raiders 6
WIGHTLINK Raiders made a triumphant return to Ryde Arena to keep their lead in National Ice Hockey League Division 1 South.
The Islanders were always ahead, helped by a dominating first period display which saw them lead 5-1 at the end of the opening session.
Player coach and man of the match Jeremy Cornish opened the scoring after three minutes, and the hosts doubled their lead shortly after, when Corey Watkins netted from Osman’s and Facey’s assists.
Alex Barker then made it 3-0, but this effort was cancelled out by London’s opening strike, through import Jakub Klima.
Danny Marshall scored the first of his three goals at 10.20, but Raiders were well on top by the buzzer, with Osman scoring at 11.31, and Cornish netting his second of the game just seven seconds before the break.
The second and third periods were even, with two goals per team, per period.
The second period burst into life at 26.07, with a scrap between Daniel Pye and London’s Adam Smith, Pye put in the sin-bin for a total of 16 minutes. London made it 5-2 through Marshall and he scored again shortly after, while on the powerplay.
Towards the end of the period, Raiders cancelled these efforts out with goals from Matt Vizzari and Barker.
There were three goals scored in the first two minutes of the final session. London started the spree with a goal from Frankie Harvey at 40.48, before Yousif Abu Saada scored at 41.57 — and just two seconds later, London scored again, through Smith.
Victory was assured with just 17 seconds left on the game, when Cornish completed his hat-trick.
The Raiders have another massive weekend of league matches ahead. Tomorrow (Saturday) they host Chelmsford Chieftains, at Ryde Arena at 6pm, before going to Invicta Dynamos on Sunday.