Raiders feel the force of Thunder’s forwards

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MK Thunder showed what forward power they have in the 6-2 demolition of London Raiders at MK Arena on Sunday.

After losing narrowly on the road in the preceding two weeks when finishing in front of goal let them down, Thunder’s forwards turned it round completely on home ice with some impressive pass and movement hockey to open up the Raiders defence.

The only slight downside to this game was the number of minor penalties Thunder conceded, only when they were a man down did the visitors look to have much potency and in fact the two goals Raiders scored were both powerplay goals when they had the man advantage.

It was veteran Simon Howard that settled any nerves by getting Thunder on the scoreboard in the fourth minute assisted by Jamie Line. Line and winger Ross Bowers were lively all night and created mayhem cutting through the Raiders defence almost at will. It was this pair that set up Thunder’s second goal for Tom Castle to score on the back post.

The home side had to wait till the late in the second period before Castle extended the lead to 3-1, the goal once again set up by Bowers. Raiders scored their second powerplay goal five minutes into the final period as Thunder came out flat, and at 3-2 the visitors seemed to increase in confidence and believe they could get something out of the game, but when they did get through Thunder’s defence they found Damien King in fine form in goal.

Bowers and Line put paid to any Raiders hopes mid way through the period, with Bowers scoring from Line’s assist to make it 4-2 and shortly afterwards Harrison Goode fired home from a narrow angle to make it 5-2 with Bowers and Howard getting the assists.

It was the Line - Bowers combination that rounded off the scoring with two minutes to go, this time it was Line that put the puck home from a Bowers pass.

Overall this was a good offensive display by the Milton Keynes side, they just need to keep the penalty count down to ease the pressure on their defence.