London Raiders 5-2 Invicta Dynamos
London Raiders 5-2 Invicta Dynamos

It was a frustrating 5-2 league defeat for the Invicta Dynamos, losing on the road to the London Raiders.

The Dynamos handed debuts to new recruits Jaroslav Cesky and the returning Steve Osman, whilst Mason Webster made a welcome return from injury to give the Mos 15 skaters with the absentees being Harrison Lillis, Justin Robinson and Tom Long.

The Mos didn’t really get going in the first period – 5 shots in 20 minutes at Raiders’ netminder Michael Gray spoke volumes. The Raiders looked the more convincing and went ahead on 1:44 – Jake Sylvester marking his return from injury by beating Damien King after being fed straight down the middle of the pad by Juraj Huska.

Steve Osman had a half chance a few minutes later when Callum Fowler danced through a couple of challenges and fed the Mos’ centreman who could only fire over the bar.

The scoreline doubled to 2-0 on 6:15 – JJ Pitchley dispatching past King with Alan Lack claiming the assist.

A 3rd goal for the raiders was later washed-out by referee Hewitt after he spotted Olegs Lascenko kicking the puck into the net. The Mos were still struggling to test Gray and a Cesky shot from the right flank was to be their last shot of the period with the Raiders skating off the ice with a 2-0 lead.

The Dynamos started brighter in the second period, Ashley Jackson having a shot blocked and Callum Fowler seeing his attempt saved by Gray. The pressure paid-off with the Mos getting a powerplay after Olly Baldock high sticked – Tommy Ralph shooting through a crowd of bodies for Mason Webster to tip beyond Gray to pull the score back to 2-1 on 22:49.

Sylvester was bright all evening for the Radiers and his dangerous cutback in the 24th minute almost had Sean Barry tipping the puck at the Mos’ net. At the other end Ondrej Zosiak skated towards the Raiders goal having dispossessed Marek Nahlik and his pass found Osman who maybe should have done better with the opportunity.

That man Sylvester claimed his second goal of the night in the 30th minute, striking past King from close range and Juraj Huska found the youngster lurking in front of goal.

3-1 soon turned to 4-1 two minutes later – JJ Pitchley bombing down the right and cutting the puck back to Alan Lack to spin and shoot beyond King. Half chances for Josh Condren, Ashley Jackson and Steve Osman came to little with the Mos skating off at the end of the period 3 goals behind.

The final frame was the Mos best in terms of registering shots on goal. Josh Condren helped create one of those shots when he backhanded a pass to the on-rushing Brandon Webster but the youngster failed to hit the back of the net.

Louis Colvin then found Cesky who fired just over the bar and seconds later the duo combined again, this time with Colvin going close. Cesky was finding space and cleverly distrusting passes and that drew Alan Lack into leading into the forward with an elbow resulting in a powerplay for the Mos.

It didn’t take long for the Mos to grasp the man advantage and pull the score back to 4-2 through Callum Fowler who skipped over Nahlik’s challenge to strike home in the 48th minute – the assist credited to Arran Strawson.

The Mos successfully defended a Brandon Webster penalty in the 52nd minute, Webster having sprayed netminder Gray. With time ticking away the Raiders nabbed the final goal of the game in the 57th minute – Olegs Lascenko scoring for 5-2 with Juraj Huska again the creator for his 3rd assist of the evening.

So a league defeat for the Dynamos who are yet to beat the Raiders in any competition so far this season.

Man of the match for the Mos went to forward Seb Downing and 2 goal hero Jake Sylvester claimed the award for the hosts.

Netminder Damien King faced a total of 39 shots with an 87.18% save record – his opposite number Gray facing 27 shots for a save percentage of 92.59.

Picture supplied by Nicola Allen.