The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild had a mixed weekend losing 4-2 away at Hull Jets on Saturday night and then beating the Blackburn Hawks development team 22-2 at home at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
The away game at Hull started well with Widnes taking the lead in the 12th minute with a powerplay goal from player coach Ollie Barron and Jakub Hajek doubling the advantage with just 90 seconds left to play in the period.
That, unfortunately, was as good as it got for the Widnes team on the night. A Hull powerplay goal with 26 seconds on the clock meant the score was 1-2 at the end of the first period and the only goal of the second period also went to the hosts as they drew level at the halfway stage of the game.
The Wild had their chances – and easily matched their opponents in terms of shots and possession – but they were simply unable to breach the Hull defences and hit the back of the net.
Hull took the lead with a powerplay goal in the 55th minute and rounded off the scoring two minutes later.
The home game against Blackburn on Sunday was a completely different story all together and the Wild notched up their highest scoring total in a league match ever seen at Planet Ice Widnes – matching the 22-2 scoreline from their one-sided encounter last season away to the Dragons 2 team at Deeside.
In all fairness to this “Hawks 2” team, they have been specifically set up as a development team and the point is not so much to win trophies as to help develop young local players by giving them more ice time and game experience. That being the case, the team is composed mainly of promising youngsters backed up with a few experienced heads to pull the team together and, as such, this game was always likely to be a home banker for the Wild.
The goal rush started in the 5th minute with a strike from the Wild’s Ross Jordan and, by the end of the first period, the score was 7-0 courtesy of 2 goals from Jakub Hajek, one from Ollie Barron and an incredible first period hat trick from Michal Novak.
The second period continued in similar vein with goals from Danny Bullock, Chris Gee, Tom Jackson, a brace from Mike Mawer and two more from Novak and the Wild went into the second break with a healthy 15-0 advantage.
Netminder Barry Sprakes took over in the Widnes net from Luke Wilson Owen in the third period and the Wild continued to besiege the Blackburn goal.
Goals came from Ross Jordan and Tom Jackson – and a third from Mike Mawer. Hajek and Barron made the score 20-0 to the Wild before the Hawks made the most of a breakaway and scored the first of the their two goals of the night in the 50th minute.
Further goals from Hajek and Gilbert rounded off the scoring and the 22-2 win handed the Wild two important league points which saw them move back up into second place in the Laidler Division table.
Looking back over the two games, player coach Ollie Barron said:
“A split weekend for the Wild. Saturday’s game was very frustrating. I felt we didn’t play anywhere near to our full potential, not taking anything away from Hull as they worked hard from 2-0 down to take the win. But as a team we know we have to be much better in all aspects of our game and be prepared to play for a full 60 minutes in every game we go into. On Sunday, we played much harder and for each other, taking a comfortable win. I was keen for us not to drop our game and play hard for the whole game.”
“As results around the league this weekend have shown, anyone can beat anyone in this league and we face a talented Bradford team away next Saturday – which I’m sure will be a great game. Again as always thanks to all the fans that made the trip to Hull and all the fans who packed the stands against Blackburn.”
The Wild are away to league leaders Bradford Bulldogs this Saturday 13th October – 5pm face off – and then away to the Blackburn Hawks development team the Saturday after. They are next at home on Sunday 21st October when they take on the Telford Tigers at Planet Ice Widnes – 5.30pm face off.
The Wild Academy Under 15 team lost their second ever league game 22-2 against a much more experienced Dragons U15 team at Deeside on Saturday. The Wild goals came from Jake Thompson and Callum Meehan.
Their next game is on Saturday 3rd November when they play the Nottingham U15 team at Planet Ice Widnes – 6.50pm face off.
The Widnes Wild women’s team are in action this Saturday 13th October when they travel to play the Sheffield Shadows in the Women’s Premier League.
The Shadows were relegated from the Elite League at the end of last season and drew their first WPL game 6-6 at home to newly promoted Whitley Bay Squaws. The Wild Women lost their first game of the new season 10-2 away to Milton Keynes Falcons but iced a host of players new to competitive ice hockey.
Their first home game of the season is on Sunday 9th December when they will face the Whitley Bay Squaws in a 5.30pm face off at Planet Ice Widnes.
Saturday 6th October 2018 – Laidler Division
Hull Jets 4 – Widnes Wild 2
Period Scores: 1-2, 1-0, 2-0
Shots On Goal: Hull 32 – Widnes 35 (12-11, 12-16, 8-8)
Penalties In Minutes: Hull 8 – Widnes 24
Widnes Scoring: Ollie Barron 1+1, Jakub Hajek 1+0, Mikey Gilbert & Ross Jordan both 0+1
Match Officials: Juris Susters – Referee, Paul Staniforth – Linesman, Callum Neenan – Linesman
Sunday 7th October 2018 – Laidler Division
Widnes Wild 22 – Blackburn Hawks 2
Period Scores: 7-0, 8-0, 7-2
Shots On Goal: Widnes 87 – Blackburn 14 (29-3, 28-4, 30-7)
Penalties In Minutes: Widnes 4 – Blackburn 2
Widnes Scoring: Michal Novak 5+3, Jakub Hajek 4+4, Mike Mawer 3+4, Ollie Barron 2+4, Mikey Gilbert 2+3, Ross Jordan 2+3, Tom Jackson 2+0, Danny Bullock 1+3, Chris Gee 1+2, Simon Offord 0+2, Daniel Fay 0+1
Match Officials: Tony Boynton – Referee, Lee Twell – Linesman, Jan Moritz Schaefer – Linesman