Another play-off final and another season ending game at the Riverside.
It’s becoming all to familiar for our club to finish the season in Chelmsford, this past weekend the guys really gave their all and I was very proud of each and every one of them. For those that don’t know this past weekend we played against Chelmsford in the Play-off finals, we lost the first leg 4-3 at the arena and the rink was packed. I’m not sure it was even that big when we played Cardiff two years ago to win the league.
We battle hard all night, and Chelmsford limited us to only 32 shots while we gave up 50. Bottom line is we needed to get more pucks through and get more face-offs in their zone. I think the guys did well keeping the game close to give us a good chance of winning on the Sunday, the crowd was loud and I had goose bumps when we lined up for the National Anthem.
Sunday we went to the Riverside down a goal and even though we battled hard it wasn’t meant to be. We drew the game, but it wasn’t enough, the loss on the Saturday hurt us more then we would like to admit. We have made the Ryde Arena one of the most difficult places to play in the NIHL South and if we could have got a lead heading into the Sunday things may have been different. The guys really appreciate the supporters who made the trip, it was awesome having so many of you guys there.
On behalf of the Raiders organisation I would like to congratulate Gary Clark and the Chelmsford Chieftains, they have been the best team in the league this season and the structure that Gary has put in place makes them a solid team from the goalie on out.
As for us, we have already started thinking about next season. I have two key areas that I need to address and you will see those within the next couple weeks. I will also be discussing with the current squad who wants to return and who we would like to have come back. Last summer we had a large number of turn over, but this summer I want to keep it to a minimum. I think after just missing out on the league and play-offs we are close, but improvement is needed.
I said in last weeks Coaches Comments that this is an exciting time to be involved with the Raiders and I think as a club we have some unfinished business for next year. I’ll be updating the Coaches Comments throughout the summer with who we have signed and the direction the club will be taking, so keep checking up.
Have a great summer and thanks for all the support throughout this season.
Go Raiders Go!!