The RTL-sponsored Widnes Wild got back to winning ways with a fairly comfortable 1-6 win away at Blackburn Hawks N2 on Saturday night.
The game always looked likely to go the Wild’s way against the Hawks development team that had already lost 16-2 at Widnes back in October and had only won one of their 13 games so far this season.
The Wild dominated from the start and restricted the home side down to an incredible 14 shots for the whole game. Mikey Gilbert had what appeared to be a perfectly good goal ruled out early on and Tom Ratcliffe eventually fired in the opener for Widnes after 6 minutes – and then a rocket shot from Elvis Veldze from the blue line doubled the advantage to make the score 0-2 at the first break.
5 minutes into the second period, Nick Manning meandered through the Blackburn defence to score the Wild’s third goal of the game and, less than a minute later, Veldze made the most of a some confusion in front of the Hawks’ goal to fire the puck through a melee of bodies to make it 0-4 to Widnes.
The third period continued in the same vein with the Hawks’ defence looking very shaky and Mikey Gilbert scored in the 42nd minute to put Widnes 0-5 ahead.
Almost right from the restart, the Hawks finally managed to score themselves after a breakaway and a long shot from Carl Price caught Wild netminder Tom McDonald un-sighted but that was as good it got for the hosts on the night.
Shaun Dippnall – back at Widnes after brief sojourn with the N1 Deeside Dragons – slid the puck under the Hawks netminder but the referee disallowed the goal and then another Widnes goal was disallowed (arguably correctly this time) for a high stick.
The Wild finally finished off the scoring with just 2 minutes left in the game with a wonderful solo goal from Elvis Veldze to secure his hat-trick.
Saturday 11th November 2017 – Laidler Division
Blackburn Hawks N2 1 -Widnes Wild 6
Period Scores: 0-2, 0-2, 1-2
Shots on Goal: Blackburn 14 – Widnes 53
Penalties In Minutes: Blackburn 4 – Widnes 14
Widnes Scoring: Elvis Veldze 3+1, Thomas Ratcliffe 1+4, Mikey Gilbert & Nick Manning both 1+0, Stuart Brittle, Pavel Vales, Tom Jackson & Shaun Dippnall all 0+1
Match Officials: Anthony Boynton – Referee, Haris Hussain – Linesman
Match report by Paul Breeze – www.icehockeyreview.co.uk