Academy Round Up

Wild Academy’s Caleb Eddleston scores the U11s only goal in their game against Whitley U11s (Photo by Hannah Walker)

Saturday 25th January: Wild Academy U18s 8 – Sutton U18s 5 (EIHA North U18 Div 2)

The Wild Academy Under 18s team picked up their second ever competitive win with an 8 – 5 victory over Sutton Under 18s team at Planet Ice Widnes on Saturday.

It was a case of “third time lucky”, as the two teams had drawn both their previous encounters. This game looked as though it was going to be similarly tight, with neither side giving anything away in the first period and the only goal coming just one second from the break buzzer from team captain Sam Anderson.

Widnes extended the lead in the second period, with goals from Luke Mullarkey, Tristan Grimshaw and Anderson again, to lead 4 – 0 at the halfway point of the game. Sutton scored their first goal with just over a minute left to play in the second period and, at 4 – 1, there was still plenty for both sides to play for.

Sutton scored again 90 seconds into the third period but a second goal from Grimshaw re-established the four-goal cushion on 46 minutes. Another strike from Sutton on 50 minutes kept them in the game but then a three goal burst for Widnes – a hat-trick goal for Grimshaw, a strike for Cameron Williams on his Wild debut and a second for Mullarkey – put the game beyond Sutton’s reach.

The visitors fired in two goals in the last minute but it was too late by then to mount any sort of come-back and the Wild were able to celebrate two important league points.

As a result of the win, Widnes leapfrog Sutton in the Under 18 North Division 2 table into fifth place. They have a busy weekend next weekend with two away games, travelling to face Solihull Under 18s on Saturday 1st February – 6.15 pm face off – and then the Sheffield Steel City Under 18s at Ice Sheffield on Sunday, 1.50 pm face off.

Saturday 25th January: Wild Academy U11s 1 – Whitley Bay U11s 9 (EIHA U11 League North)

The Wild Academy Under 11s team put in a superb performance against the Whitley Bay Under 11s but finished on the wrong end of a 1 – 9 scoreline at Planet Ice Widnes on Saturday.

This is the first season that the Wild Academy have operated an Under 11s team and, for the most part, they are coming up against long-established and more experienced opposition. Many of the Wild Under 11 players have never played competitive ice hockey before this season and several of the players are, indeed, Under 9s players who are playing up an age group.

Whitley Bay opened the scoring after just 30 seconds and were 0 – 2 up at the end of the first period. Widnes halved the deficit with a well-taken goal by Caleb Eddleston on 18 minutes but the Whitley team moved up a gear and three more goals from them saw the score at 1 – 5 after two periods. Four more goals followed for the visitors in the third period for a final score of 1 – 9 for Whitley.

While a defeat is always disappointing, this is a very young team and they will certainly improve as they gain experience. With the U11 team having gone five games without scoring a goal of any sort, Eddleston’s goal was celebrated as much as if it had been a victory and he deservedly won the MVP Award for Widnes.

The Wild Academy Under 11s are at home again this Saturday 1st February when the take on the Whitley Bay Under 11s again – 6.15pm face off.

The Wild Academy Under 13s are also in action on Saturday when they take on Blackburn Under 13s at Planet Ice Widnes – 7.30 pm face off.

Entry to all Wild Academy team games at Planet Ice, Widnes is free and spectators are urged to come along and support the stars of the future.

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All Photos ©Gw-Images unless otherwise stated

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