Tuesday 18 November 2014

South1 Match Report Wightlink Raiders 5 - Solent Devils 6

The Devils take both points from an epic local derby with a goal 22 seconds from the end.
After coming close in the previous encounter on the island, when the Devils came away with a draw they went one better on Saturday with a 5-6 victory over the Wightlink Raiders.  This was a fast and action packed match that saw the Devils secure their win over their neighbours. The lead changed several times, but neither team ever held more than a one goal advantage.

Although match reports tend to focus on goal scorers special mention must go to the four young defencemen, probably the youngest defence in the league, who laid their bodies on the line time and time again to protect the keep the Raiders out. The defence was marshalled by Alex Cole (aged 23) with Shaun Rudkins (21), Ben Lock (20) and Chris Beal (19) all giving 100%.
Devils made the perfect start to the match as Ralfs Circencis opened the scoring in the first minute, after inch-perfect passes between Drew Campbell and George Norcliffe. The Raiders tried to unsettle Chico Cole in net,  but Mitch Murray stepped in to protect his netmider. Both teams had chances, but it was the Devils who extended their lead in the 14th minute as Alex Murray took full advantage of the extra man whilst on the powerplay, assists going to Mitch Murray and Andrew Magee. A late goal by the hosts, with just 90 seconds on the clock didn’t dampen the Devils spirits as they took a one goal lead into the first break.
The tide looked to be turning against the Devils in the second period as the Raiders equalised in the first minute and then took the lead just three minutes later. Devils continued to press, and were level again just a minute later as Drew Campbell buried the puck into the back of the net. The checks were flying in, with both teams not giving an inch, but in general the referee was allowing the match to flow. Raiders re-took the lead in the 31st minute, but the Murray/Murray/Magee line hit back in the 38th minute as Alex Murray scored his second of the night. A late goal from the Raiders, with 22 seconds on the clock saw Raiders take a 5-4 lead into the second break.
The third period was more of the same end-to-end hockey, with both teams desperate for the win. Devils drew level in the 5th minute of the period as Drew Campbell scored his second of the night, with an assist going to Ben Lock. The match looked to be heading for a draw, but the Devils had other ideas. From a face-off in the Raiders’ end Man of the Match Alex Murray scored the winning goal with just 22 seconds on the clock, sending the small band of travelling supporters wild. 
Match Stats
Devils scoring: Alex Murray (3+0), Drew Campbell (2+2), Ralfs Circenis (1+0), George Norcliffe, Mitch Murray & Andrew Magee (0+2), Ben Lock (0+1)
Shots on Devils: Christian Cole 50 shots (5 goals)
Shots on Wightlink: 43 shots (6 goals)
Period scores: 1-2/4-2/0-2
Penalty minutes: Wightlink: 36, Devils: 30
Report by Simon Beal

Photo of Alex Murray by Dave Chapman - www.dcphoto.co.uk