Riverside Raiders 2 - Deeside Demons 13
Period Scores: 2-5, 0-4, 0-3
Penalties In Minutes: Raiders 12 - Demons 8
This was a really entertaining game that saw 15 goals scored - albeit most of them going in one direction... and was a particular pleasure for me as it was the first time that I had actually - finally - managed to see a game at Widnes.
The Raiders struck first, quickly building up a two goal lead and, having seen the Demons struggle to find the net against Sheffield Ice Tigers a couple of weeks ago, it looked as if this might be a bit of a struggle for them. However, the visitors pulled one back and then came what I tend to refer to as that "game changing moment" that always happens in every match at every level.
A delayed penalty was called in the Demons' favour and they promptly pulled their netminder to play an extra attacker. The resulting pressure paid off and an equaliser was scored, negating the penalty on the Raiders player. This seemed to have a marked effect on both teams and the Demons fired three more goals to pull easily ahead while the Raiders seemed to lose their mojo.
Despite a lot of spirited attacking play from the home team, the same pattern continued in the second period. The Demons had a well organised defence and were able to put meaningful plays together going forward. The Raiders began to pick up penalties and 4 more unanswered goals came for the Demons in that middle 20 minutes. By the end of the period, the result seemed almost inevitable.
The Raiders' best chance of pulling a goal back came early in the 3rd period when they had a rare 5 on 3 opportunity. That all went wrong however, as Deeside then got a man back on the ice and promptly went up the other end and scored a shorthanded goal themselves!
Two more goals followed for Deeside and the Riverside Raiders were well and truly beaten but they showed a lot of spirit and played hard right up to the final buzzer.
The resulting MVP for Raiders' netminder Stephanie Drinkwater was just one more example of this.
Raiders Scoring: Erik Tvrdon 1+0, James Mansfield 1+0, Jon Anderson & Matthew Lennox both 0+1
Demons Scoring: Bart Lang 4 + 1 , Mark Higson 2+2, Gez Lewis 2+1, George Perrett 2+0, Ian Broomfield 2+0, James Ashbrook 1+0, Jake Orr 0+4 , Ross Sinnott 0+3, Grahame Hynes 0+2, Andrew Cooke & Alan Burrows both 0+1.
The Riverside Raiders are back in action next Sunday 7th June at the Silver Blades Ice Rink in Widnes where they face Sheffield Ice Tigers in a 7.30pm face off. Admission is free and all are welcome.
The following week on Sunday 14th June there is a fascinating double header with the Raiders again at home in a 4.30pm face off followed by Widnes Wildcats taking on Blackburn Falcons at 7.30pm.