Devils’ cup hopes dented

Wightlink Raiders' Jeremy Cornish is crowded out Picture:
Wightlink Raiders' Jeremy Cornish is crowded out Picture:
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Alex Murray’s side travelled to the Isle of Wight in the hope of building on a 3-3 draw against the Islanders in their previous game in group A.

But it wasn’t to be as the Devils returned across the Solent disappointed after a 5-2 defeat to sit second in the table.

Murray said he was disappointed by the result and his side’s lack of focus throughout the game.

‘It was a disappointing result, where we were too involved with niggles in the game,’ he said.

‘That slowed the game and benefited the Raiders, as we lost our focus.

‘Moving forward, we need to find some consistency.

‘We played well for the first two periods but let ourselves down in the third.’

The Devils went into the game without a full-strength side and a much reduced squad.

Ralfs Circenis and Domink Hegyi were both out injured, leaving the dozen skaters that travelled looking small compared to the Raiders’ 17.

The match itself was a physical one right from the start, with both teams amassing a large amount of penalty points.

The visitors’ Mitch Murray got himself 30 minutes, which included a pair of 10-minute misconduct penalties, and that resulted in him heading for an early shower.

Meanwhile, Raiders head coach, Jeremy Cornish, picked himself up 18 minutes in one go.

When the referee signalled there would be a delayed penalty for charging, Cornish decided that if he was to go, it would be for a great reason.

He then dropped his gloves and went after Murray to finish the conversation they’d just had against the boards.

Despite the first period ending 0-0, there were four goals recorded in the second period – two for each team.

Richard Facey also had a goal disallowed, which caused great uproar in the crowd.

The off-ice goal judge had lit the light to say the puck had gone in – and even Matt Colclough in the Raiders goal seemed to believe the goal would stand,

The ref said the puck hadn’t crossed the line, however, and he had the final say.

The third period saw the Raiders register another three goals – and another disallowed goal for the Devils.

This time Colclough knocked the goal out of position in his attempt to make a save.

Again, the off-ice judge lit the light to say the goal was good, but the ref once more disagreed.

Murray added: ‘Going in to the third, with the game tied at 2-2, we should have done better with the four minute power play.

‘Killing that helped the Raiders’ momentum and their third goal caused us to struggle, which allowed them the pair of breakaway goals.’

This weekend sees the Devils in action on both Saturday and Sunday evening.

On Saturday they travel to Cardiff in the league (7pm), before playing host to Chelmsford Chieftans at Planet Ice, Gosport, 24 hours later (7pm).

– Steve Breen