Monday 3 July 2023

Match Report: Halton Huskies 2 - Riverside Raiders 4 (Summer Classic Cup)

Huskies v Raiders goal-mouth action – Stephen Harvey (Raiders #32) and Ethan Trickett (Huskies #91) vying for position watched by Raiders netminder Ian Thirkettle – photo by @haganovaphoto

Saturday 1st July 2023 – Summer Classic Cup: Halton Huskies 2 – Riverside Raiders 4

The Halton Huskies lost out in the battle to finish top of the Western Conference group table in the Summer Classic Cup competition after a 2-4 defeat at the hands of the Riverside Raiders at Planet Ice Widnes on Saturday.

Despite the Huskies and Raiders teams both being based at the Widnes rink – rather like the San Ciro stadium being the shared home of both AC Milan and Inter - this was technically a “home game” for the Huskies, as the previous meeting between the two teams back in May had been the Raiders’ home fixture.

This was a highly entertaining game to watch and was played in very good spirit – despite the winner takes all aspect with both teams vying to finish in top spot

The Huskies took the lead in the 4th minute with a goal from Anthony Hough but the Raiders equalised 8 minutes later with a powerplay goal from Adam Jenkins to punish a roughing call.

Despite the Huskies outshooting the Raiders by 13 to 7 over the course of the period, the score remained 1-1 at the first break and indeed continued to do so until 13 minutes into the second period. At that point, Kai Gennoe fired the Raiders into the lead and the score stood at 1-2 after two periods of play.

A powerplay goal for Rory Sillery 7 minutes into the third period put the Raiders 1-3 ahead  and then another powerplay strike just 40 seconds later – from Louis Grogan - edged the away side even further ahead.

The Huskies didn’t give up, however, and had their own chances - with a total shot tally of 38 to 36 in their favour over the course of the game – but Ian Thirkettle put in a superb performance in the Raiders’ net to keep them at bay. Halton’s efforts were eventually rewarded with a second goal on 53 minutes  from Ethan Trickett but it wasn’t enough to spark a late rally and the match finished 2-4 to the Raiders.

The result means that the Riverside Raiders finish top of the table with 6 wins and 12 points from their 6 group games, with the Huskies coming second with 4 wins and an overtime loss, 3 points behind.

Both teams have qualified for the play off stage of the competition where they will meet the top two teams in the Eastern Conference over the weekend of 5th/6th August at iceSheffield.