Riverside Raiders (Widnes) 5 – Grimsby Stormers 6
Period Scores: 3-0, 1-2, 1-4
Penalties in Minutes: Raiders – Grimsby
Raiders Scoring: Geraint Evans 2+2, Sam Plant 2+0, Owen Tennant 1+0, Jack Walker 0+1, Ben Donkin 0+1
The Widnes based Riverside Raiders lost their 100% record in the Puckstop Summer Classic in dramatic fashion with a narrow 5-6 defeat at the hands of the Grimsby Stormers at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday.
The Raiders had won 8-10 away in Grimsby the week before but this meeting of the top two teams in the group was always going to be a close-fought and robust encounter and the importance of the occasion was highlighted by the presence of IIHF and Elite League official Kris Wells as match referee.
The game started well for the home side who took the lead in the 5th minute through a Sam Plant strike and extended it to 3-0 by the first break with two quick goals within 12 seconds of each other from, first, Geraint Evans and then Plant again.
The period break seemed to interrupt the Raiders’ momentum as Grimsby looked the better side coming out for the second period. Two goals - in the 24th and 27th minutes - pulled them back into the game and it wasn’t until the 35th minute that the Raiders managed to muster a reply – a well taken shorthanded goal by Evans for his second of the game.
The score stood at 4-2 to the Raiders at end of the second period but there was still lots to play for in the last 20 minutes.
A goal for Grimsby after just 2 minutes of the restart put the game back on a knife edge and then the Raiders were called for having too many men on the ice during a line change. A raft for penalties for both sides followed this and the Raiders seemed to lose their flow at this point.
Things could have got even worse for the Raiders as the Stormers were awarded a penalty shot just 3 minutes later which might have led to the equalising goal had the puck not been bravely blocked by the Riverside netminder.
A Grimsby goal did eventually follow on 49 minutes to put them on level pegging but Raiders’ Owen Tennant fired home to edge the home team back into the lead with just under 5 minutes left to play.
The lead lasted just under 90 seconds this time before the Stormers levelled again and Raiders’ hearts were broken a minute later when Grimsby took the lead for the first time in the game with the clock standing at 57.42.
The remaining time was played out at a frantic pace with penalties for both sides but no further goals were scored, meaning that the Stormers were able to come away with a 5-6 victory.
The Raiders till top the Puckstop Summer Classic table with 6 points from their 4 games to date. The Stormers remain second with 4 points from 3 games and the Wyre Seagulls join them on 4 points after their 13-5 win over Blackburn Buccaneers.
The Riverside Raiders are at home again next Sunday 28th May when they play the Sheffield Ice Tigers at Silver Blades Widnes. Face off is at 4.30pm and admission is free.
The Widnes Wildcats are also at home next Sunday 28th May when they entertain the Solihull Vikings in a Summer Cup game at Silver Blades Widnes. Face off is at 8.30pm - after the Riverside Raiders game - and admission is free.