The Raiders lived up to their name by stunning the Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates on Saturday night, taking 2 points and ending the Pirates’ unbeaten start to the 2019-2020 season.
With last Sunday’s game against MK Lightning cancelled due to ice arena problems, Jason Hewitt’s men came into Saturday’s game well rested following the 7-5 victory at IceSheffield a week prior.
However, it was the visitors who shocked the Hull Ice Arena early in the first period. With Matty Davies in the penalty box for a hooking infringement, Blahoslav Novak took advantage of the extra man and slotted past Ash Smith to give the Raiders the lead after just 2 minutes.
The Pirates looked shell shocked and struggled to find a response, with the visiting team controlling most of the first period. Every chance the home side managed to create was either kept out by an inspired Michael Grey in the Raiders’ net or blocked by a well-drilled Raiders defence.
A few power plays did land in favour of the team in green, however it was the visitors who had an outstanding chance to double their lead with a 2 on 0 short-handed breakaway. Smith however, kept his composure and maintained the score at 0-1 heading into the first break.
The second period delivered much of the same, with both teams struggling to gain the upper hand. Chances fell both ways but once more Smith and Grey were more than equal to every shot thrown at them. The Pirates did create the best opportunity of the second 20 minutes, only kept out by the Raiders piling onto their own goal line to prevent the puck sliding in.
The final period began in a similar way to the first, an early goal once again taking the wind out of the Pirates’ sails. After the home side had failed to clear the zone, Lukas Sladkovski hammered a shot over Smith’s shoulder to double the lead for the visiting Raiders on the delayed penalty after 41 minutes.
Now two goals down, the Pirates again struggled to mount a comeback as both sides took needless penalties. Eventually the home side managed to find the net; Sam Towner giving the Pirates hope after just past the 50 minute mark, redirecting Josh Gent’s shot from the blue line past a sprawling Grey to make it a one goal game.
The remaining 10 minutes played out in end-to-end fashion; the Raiders ringing the pipework on more than one occasion, and the Pirates throwing everything at their opposition. Despite Smith heading to the bench to give the home team the man advantage in the dying minutes, the Raiders held on for a well-deserved victory. 1-2 the final score.
Man Of The Match Awards:
Raiders: #74 Jack Flynn
Pirates: #5 Lee Haywood
Greig Cardwell Hull Pirates Media Partner