Wild captain Danny Bullock (#10) scored an important goal away at Nottingham in the Midland Cup (Photo by Geoff White)
Sunday 10th November 2019: Nottingham Lions 6 – YKK Widnes Wild 5 (PS) NIHL Midland Cup
The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild picked up their first ever point in a competitive match against a higher league team with a 5 – 5 regulation time draw away to Nottingham Lions in the Midland Cup on Sunday but were disappointed to have to come home with an “overtime loss” against their record, after losing the game overall on a penalty shoot out.
The Wild are taking part in the Cup this season to face opposition in the higher Moralee Division as part of Head Coach Mike Clancy’s three-year plan to prepare the team for competition at a higher level. When these two teams met at Widnes back in September, the Lions narrowly edged it 2 – 3 in a game that many thought Widnes could have won, so the Wild travelled to the Lace City with a big point to prove.
The game started badly for the Wild as they went 1 – 0 down after two and a half minutes and were 2 – 0 down after three and a half minutes. The game was otherwise fairly well balanced throughout and both teams had plenty of chances. Luckily after this hesitant start, the Wild found their feet and there was no more scoring for the first period.
Shaun Dippnall opened Widnes’ account with a power play goal on 25 minutes. The Lions re-established their two-goal lead with a strike on 32 minutes but then Widnes Captain Danny Bullock pulled another goal back for the Wild just 60 seconds later. A fine strike from M.J. Clancy in the 36th minute pulled the Wild back onto level terms and the score remained 3 – 3 at the second period break.
A goal for Nottingham just 39 seconds from the restart put them back in front and another goal on 48 minutes looked to have put the hosts firmly in the driving seat. However, the Wild dug deep and two quick-fire goals from Dippnall within 20 seconds of each other on the 50 minute mark drew the Wild level once again.
The final ten minutes were played at a frantic pace and both sides had their chances to win the game but the score was still tied at 5 – 5 at the end of 60 minutes playing time. There followed a tense overtime period of 5 minutes but neither side was able to score the “golden goal” that would hand them the victory so the match had to be decided by a penalty shoot-out. Nottingham came out better in this final phase of the game – edging the shoot out 1-0 after three shots each – and take 2 points for the overtime win, with the Wild having to settle for 1 point for having drawn the game at the end of normal time.
The Wild’s game away at Blackburn this Saturday has been rescheduled for 29th February so they are next in action this Sunday 17th November when they take on the Telford Tigers 2 team in the Laidler Division at Planet Ice Widnes – face off 5.30 p.m.
Widnes Wild Women
The Wild Women’s team play their second league game of the season on Saturday, when they travel to Telford to take on the Wrekin Raiders – 6.20 p.m. face off. The Raiders are the reigning Division 1 North champions and have won both of their league games this season so far. The Wild Women have never played Telford before, so it will be a voyage of discovery for them.
Telford were knocked off the top of the league table at the weekend, after Sheffield Shadows’ win over Nottingham Vipers. The Wild Women are just 2 points off the top spot and have games in hand over all the other teams.