Saturday 28th September has been a date in the diary of every Bracknell Hornets fans for months. It marked the first time the Hornets would face-off at The Hive in the 2019-20 season. A familiar foe in the London Raiders 2 were the visitors, in what promised to be a goal fest.
The fans at the rink were in for a treat. Well, the Hornets fans at least. A depleted looking Raiders 2 team had a lot on their plate, even before the delayed face-off. A number of players missing and coming up against a Hornets team that looked like they had started to find their groove.
It didn’t take long for the scoring to begin. Just over a minute in, Josh Ealey-Newman registered his first goal of the night, assisted by Steve Osman. The Hornets were on top, but when Carl Graham took a two minute penalty for interference, the Raiders 2 capitalised on the power play. Callum Burnett tucked one away, his fourth goal of the season.
It didn’t take the Hornets very long to respond. Steve Osman picked up his first goal of the night just over halfway through the first period, with a helping hand from youngster Callum Burr. Osman wasn’t finished though, as scorer turned provider a mere 17 seconds later. Michael Stratford was at hand this time to bury the puck. The Hornets concluded the first period 3-1 ahead.
The second period was created by another quick Hornets goal and it was that man Steve Osman who was involved yet again. His fourth point and second goal of the night came 2’23” into the second period, with a single assist going to Michael Stratford. A fifth goal was added when Harvey Hind-Pitcher set-up Josh Ealey-Newman and the game suddenly looked well beyond the Raiders 2.
They did however, manage to take advantage of another power play through Joe Allen’s goal. Sadly for the Raiders 2 fans, this would be the end of their scoring tonight. Even more unfortunate for Raiders 2 fans, was that the Hornets still had more in the tank.
This time, it was the Hornets that made the most of their first power play opportunity of the night. Ill discipline from the Raiders 2 lead to a 5 on 3 for the Hornets. Michael Stratford scoring again, from Carl Graham and Steve Osman. The second period finished with the Hornets 6-2 in front, but if the game early in the season against Oxford City Stars taught the team anything, it’s that it’s not over until it’s over.
The third period kicked off with a bang. Literally. A brawl between Ben Haley-Newman and George Gell saw both players receive significant penalty minutes. In comparison to the first two periods, the third was a little slow. It seemed as if both teams were content with the result and neither were going all out to increase their goal tally.
There were still opportunities for both teams. Jake Stoodley was tremendous in the third period and pulled off a few remarkable glove saves. It looked for all the world that the game was going to fizzle out, until Michael Stratford completed his hat-trick with three minutes remaining. Josh Ealey-Newman added the final goal with five seconds left. He too, completing his hat-trick.
Overall, the Hornet faithful have every right to be pleased with their performance. It’s back-to-back wins and a team that’s really starting to impress in the NIHL 1 South division.
McTimoney Chiropractic Bracknell Hornets goals:
- 01:13 Josh Ealey-Newman, assisted by Steve Osman
- 10:24 Steve Osman, assisted by Callum Burr
- 10:41 Michael Stratford, assisted by Steve Osman
- 22:18 Steve Osman, assisted by Michael Stratford
- 27:27 Josh Ealey-Newman, assisted by Harvey Hind-Pitcher
- 34:08 Michael Stratford, assisted by Carl Graham & Steve Osman
- 57:00 Michael Stratford, assisted by Callum Burr
- 59:55 Josh Ealey-Newman, unassisted
London Raiders 2 goals:
- 07:09 Callum Burnett, assisted by Ross Cowan
- 30:24 Joe Allen, assisted by Vilius Krakauskas & Stevie Dunnage
Shots faced: Tom Annetts (BRA) 41 shots – 95.12%, Jake Stoodley (RAI) 54 shots – 85.19%