A goal from man of the match Jiri Hanzal. Picture by Nicky Craft.
Wightlink Raiders 7, Invicta Dynamos 4
WIGHTLINK Raiders ice hockey team made a great start to their South East Trophy campaign with home victory over Invicta Dynamos on Saturday.
A good crowd, who braved the cold despite the sunshine outside, watched as the Raiders unleashed a second-period flurry of goals to put the game beyond doubt, even though the Dynamos replied with a few goals of their own late on.
It wasn’t always like that though.
The first period felt a lot like Raiders were still in the learning process, with Invicta looking the slicker of the two teams with good attacks.
They took the lead through speedy import Peter Vaisenen in the fourth minute, and had Raiders’ netminder Matt Colclough making some good stops.
At the other end, David Wride looked uncomfortable between the pipes for Invicta, although Raiders were not really testing him.
The equaliser came in the 12th minute, however, when Craig Tribe’s soft shot somehow found its way into the net.
The scrappy play and Invicta threat continued through to the half-way point but a great goal from Richard Facey, assisted by Alex Murray and Nick Compton, gave Raiders the lead, and it triggered a goal rush.
Just over a minute later, Jiri Hanzal found his form with a lovely wraparound goal, before Jeremy Cornish netted unassisted it 31.06 to make it 4-1. At 31.43, they made it five, when Tribe’s slapshot found its way through.
Although Invicta narrowed the gap withVaisenen’s second goal it was scant consolation, as two minutes later, Tribe completed his hat-trick with a brilliantly worked effort between himself, Hanzal and Robbie Brown.
Man of the match Hanzal completed the scoring two minutes into the final period. Invicta — who outshot Raiders 35-30 — netted twice with goals from Joe Bliss and Justin Noble but by then, Raiders had control of the game and were in no mood to relinquish their lead.
Invicta certainly look strong for the season but Raiders fans will be encouraged to see that, even after a shaky start, they could dig deep, turn the match around in their favour, and score some lovely team goals.