Alex Barker scored a hat-trick on Sunday.
AFTER two highly disappointing results the previous week, Wightlink Raiders came back in style smashing 21 goals in against Milton Keynes Thunder and Bracknell Hornets.
On Saturday night at Ryde Arena, Raiders pummelled a tiny Milton Keynes squad 10-0 in the NIHL Cup, with back-up goalkeeper Dan Weller-Evans getting some ice time — and first choice keeper Matt Colclough enjoying a rest — and earning a shut-out.
Raiders were in ruthless form, hitting the Milton Keynes goalkeeper with an incredible 84 shots. Craig Tribe opened the scoring with less than 90 seconds on the clock and this was quickly followed by goals for Steven Osman, Corey Watkins and Dan Pye in the first period.
It took nine minutes of the second period for scoring to resume, as Richard Nembhard notched up another goal, before three goals in five minutes, one shorthanded from Kieran Annis and further strikes from Ben Lock and Alex Barker, made it 8-0. Two powerplay goals in the final session, another from Barker and one from player-coach Jeremy Cornish, capped a fine performance.
It was encouraging to see the goals spread around the squad, with only two players not registering a point.
On Sunday, the Raiders returned to league action against Bracknell, a side who they only just beat away from home earlier in the season.
This time, however, they were flying, and an 11-1 win maintained their position at the top of the table with Chelmsford Chieftains.
With Colclough back between the pipes, and import Matt Vizzari returning after missing the night before with a shoulder injury, the strengthened Raiders — who only out-shot Bracknell 56-40 — were clinical in their finish.
Two first-period powerplay goals, one from Tribe, the other from Nick Compton, put Raiders on the front foot and they were quickly 3-0 ahead in the second period, Vizzari netting at 20.47. All three were assisted by Barker.
After Bracknell scored their only goal of the game, Raiders responded well and Richard Facey restored the three-goal advantage before Annis netted his second of the weekend.
Barker’s powerplay effort just 16 seconds before the break made it 6-1, and the goals just kept on coming in the final session as Vizzari, Osman, Watkins and two more from Barker earned the points.
In his online blog, Cornish said: "I think on both nights we had finally started to click. Bracknell are always tough in their rink and to totally dominate them the way we did was rewarding as a coach. The things we have been working on really came together and I hope we can carry that into Chelmsford this upcoming Sunday."
Raiders only have one game this weekend, a cup match away at Chelmsford Chieftains on Sunday. Face off is at 6.30pm.