Despite falling behind in the first period a stunning third period performance saw the Devils record their second victory in two weeks, with a 9-4 win over London Raiders
Having beaten the Devils 1-4 just three weeks ago the London Raiders returned to the Gosport Arena full of confidence. Devils took an early lead, through Andrew Magee who latched onto a pass from Mitch Murray in the second minute. However, despite outshooting their visitors, three goals were conceded in the final five minutes of the period, leaving the score 1-3 at the first break.
As soon as the puck dropped for the start of the second period it was apparent to the vocal home support that the Devils were determined to avenge the previous defeat. However, it looked as though the Raiders’ netminder would yet again frustrate the home side. Andrew Magee finally found the back of the net again in the 27th minute, with Mitch Murray adding one of his own just three minutes later. The confidence of the home side was growing, with the defence restricting the Raiders to just 12 shots on net this period. Devils continued to pepper the visitor’s net, but could not find a way past again this period.
With the match tied at 3-3 at the start of the final period it felt as though the first goal of the period was going to be critical. Devils took the lead in the 45th minute, through a neat passing move with Alex Murray slotting the puck into the back of the net. Like the animals going onto Noah’s ark the goals then seemed to come two-by-two, with Magee scoring two goals within 13 seconds of each other in the 48th minute to extend the lead to 6-3. Raiders’ 4th goal in the 54th minute was soon cancelled by another pair from the Devils, from George Norcliffe (55th minute) and Mitch Murray (56th minute). Man of the Match Josh Abbott came close, but it was to be Ryan McFarlane who was to round up the scoring with just 16 seconds left on the clock.
It is clear the Devils are now starting to bond as a team, and the play between the Murray brother and Andrew Magee clearly left London Raiders with no response. Devils will look to continue their winning form, with an away match to local rivals Wightlink Raiders on Saturday before welcoming the Chelmsford Chieftains to Gosport for the first time this season on Sunday.
Report by Simon Beal
Photo: Devils' Andrew Magee who scored 4+2 against London Raiders - by Dave Chapman - www.dcphoto.co.uk