Raiders fell to their third cup loss against London rivals Streatham after another close contest at Lee Valley.
Beaten 5-3 on home ice in their opening match of the new season, and having suffered a penalty shoot-out loss in the return in south London, Raiders were hoping it would be third time lucky against Jeremy Cornish’s men.
They were without Alan Lack, while the visitors arrived missing Michael Farn, and saw Marek Nahlik force the first save of the night from Matt Colclough.
Euan King denied Brandon Miles with a wraparound attempt, before Colclough steered Matt Turner’s shot wide, and Streatham got the first powerplay when Tom Davis was called for holding.
Thomas Beesley was then binned for tripping Ryan Watt, giving the visitors 72 seconds with a two-man advantage, with King producing a fine save and Andy Munroe a vital block to kill off the penalties.
But no sooner had Raiders returned to full strength then Miles fired home at the far post to open the scoring.
JJ Pitchley saw a chance to level hampered by an unkind bounce of the puck, before the hosts failed to capitalise on a good powerplay chance, as Jake Sylvester and Pitchley were denied by Colclough saves.
Olegs Lascenko was also thwarted as a 5-on-3 spell came to an end, before Joe Allen came out of the penalty box and forced King to save.
Ollie Baldock had the last chance of the opening period for Raiders, who edged the shot count 13-11, and the home side drew level in the 28th minute after Watt was called for roughing.
Nahlik was credited with the equalising goal, although Munroe looked to have tipped the shot in front of Colclough, but Raiders needed King to produce saves from Ben Paynter and Watt to keep it level.
Colclough’s glove hand denied Nahlik before a loose Raiders pass was intercepted and Aidan Doughty flashed a shot over king’s blocker from a tight angle to put Streatham back in front late in the middle session.
Raiders were given another powerplay chance early in the final stanza when Jacob Ranson’s outstretched stick sent Sam Roberts to the ice and they made it count as Sylvester converted Lascenko’s pass out from behind the net.
Pitchley was called for holding soon after and King saved from Ryan Webb, before Nahlik was binned for slashing.
That gave Streatham 15 seconds with two extra men and they made Raiders pay as Adam Carr beat King to make it 3-2 with 10 minutes remaining.
A slashing call against Watt handed the hosts a chance to reply, with Sean Barry seeing two big slapshots deflected wide.
Juraj Huska was a low effort saved by man of the match Colclough, who produced another superb stop on the Slovakian before Raiders removed King for an extra skater.
James Warman found the empty net with a clearance from his own end to make it 4-2 with 20 seconds left on the clock and although Matt Turner hit back from Beesley’s pass on the next shift it was too late to make a difference for Raiders, who head to Invicta on Sunday.
Raiders: Matt Turner 1+1, Jake Sylvester 1, Marek Nahlik* 1, Andy Munroe 0+1, Thomas Beesley 0+1, Olegs Lascenko 0+1, Sean Barry 0+1.
Streatham: Brandon Miles 1, James Warman 1, Adam Carr 1, Aidan Doughty 1, Alex Sampford 0+2, Ryan Watt 0+1, Ryan Webb 0+1.
Penalty minutes: Raiders 8 Streatham 12.
Shots faced: Euan King (L, 59.49) 11-8-7=26-3 Empty net (0.11) 1-1; Matt Colclough (S) 13-13-13=39-3.
Report courtesy of the Romford Recorder