The RTL sponsored Widnes Wild have an important weekend ahead of them with 2 games that will have great significance to their Laidler Conference title challenge.
On Saturday they travel across the Pennines to play Sheffield Senators at iceSheffield in a 3-15pm face off. The Senators are currently second in the league table with one point more than the Wild, although they have played one game more.
Widnes have picked up two home wins over the Senators in their league meetings so far – both by a very narrow 4-3 scoreline – and they lost 4-2 away in Sheffield in the previous away encounter. The two teams have very similar playing records in the league overall and the game really could go either way.
On Sunday the Wild are at home to Coventry Blaze who have struggled all season and are bottom of the table with just one point from their 16 games to date. That came from a 3-3 draw with second bottom team Bradford Bulldogs.
Widnes beat Coventry 9-2 at home before Christmas and then won 0-3 away in the first game of the New Year so – on paper at least – that game would seem to be the slightly easier of the two over the weekend, although here is no such thing as an “easy game” in ice hockey.
The Wild squad has been boosted by two signings in the last week or so. Firstly netminder David Good has joined the team. Good actually played for the Wild back in April as an emergency replacement at the Laidler Conference play off weekend after regular netminder Greg Ruxton was ruled out with a knee injury. The 19 year old stopper has played most his hockey with the Hull Jets and Kingston youth teams but has also iced for Hull Pirates in the EPL and made a cameo appearance with the Hull Stingrays in the Elite League.
The other signing is forward Bobby Caunce who joins the Wild from Moralee Conference Blackburn Hawks. Caunce was one of the original Widnes players from their debut 2013/14 season and was the team’s top points scorer for that campaign with 23+27 in 28 games.
He was the Wild’s captain the following season, scoring 29 points in 21 games. He subsequently left the club to join Blackburn Eagles and helped them achieve their highest ever league position when they reached the play off for the first time last season.
The RTL sponsored Widnes Wild are at home to Coventry Blaze this Sunday 5th February at Silver Blades Widnes. Face off is at 5.30pm and doors open at 4.45.
Report by Paul Breeze (www.icehockeyreview.co.uk)