Blaze Extinguished

HugesGoalCovWidnes Wild kept up their promotion push with a win on Saturday against a valiant effort that ended in vain for the Coventry Blaze who were short on players for their roaster.

Returning to the Wild line-up were Tom Barry, Ken Armstrong, George Crawshaw and Tom Revesz, while Bobby Caunce, Tom Ratcliffe, Joshua Benstead and Joe Greaves did not appear on the roaster for Saturdays clash against Blaze.

In the opening three minutes of the game Widnes had more of the puck however Coventry Blaze had the better chances forcing Wild netminder Nicole Jackson to make the first save of the game. Widnes quickly responded with the Wild’s Ken Armstrong hitting a low short which was saved by Graham Laverk.

As the Wild supporters got behind Widnes, both Bez Hughes and Filip Supa had great chances to put Wild ahead but the Blazes Graham Laverk made the saves. The first penalty incident for Widnes occurred when Keiran Strangeway got two minutes for holding.

With just over five minutes left in the first period of the game, George Crawshaw fired at goal which rebounded straight back out to him giving him the opportunity to pass to the Wild’s assistant captain Ben Brown who then took a low shot but to no avail as an outstanding Laverk made the save.

Wild kept the pressure on Blaze and this proved to be too much for the visiting team. This pressure led to the first goal of the game with a move started by young George Crawshaw from behind the Coventry net passing to Bez Hughes who lifted the puck high in the top corner. This goal enlivened the Blaze and the closing stages of the first period saw great attempts from both sides. A badly timed Wild penalty put Coventry Blaze on the powerplay just seconds before the buzzer but Nicole Jackson was solid behind the defence making several much needed saves.

The second period started slowly for both teams, however Danny Bullock put the spark back into the game as he extended Wild lead, with his low shot seeming to have been saved but fortunately the puck found its way into the back of the net. Minutes later Blaze gave themselves a fighting chance to put themselves back in contention of the game with the Blazes Stephen Heape in front of goal hitting a low shot past Wild and GB keeper Nicole Jackson.

The comeback was short lived for Blaze as a well-placed pass from Shaun Dippnal to Filip Supa who fired at goal to restore the Wilds two goal lead. With 27.9 seconds left on the clock Blaze helped themselves to another goal as Dale White hit a low puck into the net, enabling the Blaze to go into the final period one goal down to Widnes.

The third period saw an energised Wild emerge from the changing room for the final period with Shaun Dippnal scoring with ease assisted by Ben Brown thereby doubling the Wild’s lead over Coventry. Less than five minutes later Danny Bullock passed the puck to Pollitt who was in front of the net and who slotted it in to make the score 5-2. With under five minutes left of the game there was another goal for Widnes with the Wild’s Supa showing great control and skill of the puck as he placed it in the low corner of the Coventry net unassisted.

Despite the scoreline Coventry had their fair share of chances at goal but were unable to take advantage of them and the game concluded 6-2 with a respectful team performance from Blaze. There were well-deserved MVP awards for Coventry’s Luke Smith and young wild star George Crawshaw for Widnes.

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