The Widnes Wild women’s team came away with their heads held high after a narrow 3-1 defeat in the Women’s Premier League against newly relegated Sheffield Shadows on Saturday.
This season, the Wild women are continuing with their ambitious player development policy and, following on from their previous game where they had six new players on the bench, the team for the Sheffield game included 4 more brand new players.
Karyn Cooper, Victoria Venables and Daisy Lloyd-Hazlegreaves all made their competitive debuts having never played any league matches before and Jemma Brown also made her first Widnes appearance, having previously played WPL hockey with the Kingston Diamonds team and before that, gaining junior experience with teams in Hull, Trafford and Blackburn.
The Wild women actually outplayed their hosts in the first period – out-shooting them by 14 to 13 – but it was the Sheffield team who made the most of their opportunities in front of goal and they scored in the 2nd and 10th minutes to take a 2-0 lead into the first period break.
Widnes scored the only goal of the second period when Leen de Decker halved the deficit with a strike in the 27th minute and the game remained finely balanced for the rest of the period.
Sensing that they could still take something from the game, the Wild women pressed forward in the third period and forced the Shadows into taking defensive penalties. They couldn’t make the most of their powerplay opportunities, however, and the Shadows’ third goal in the 52nd minute effectively killed off the game.
After the game, Amanda Williams said:
“Sheffield were a very young team with some strong skaters whose constant movement challenged our defensive game.”
“I’m really pleased that everything we’ve worked on in training for the past weeks showed in the game. The team is in a great place right now having 22 players signed up. Our development players are getting regular ice time and improving every game.”
“To ice a team where 50% of players are playing in their first season of competitive ice hockey and come away with a 3-1 is a credit to how hard the players are working.”
The Wild women have two more away games before their first home game of the new season. They travel to Nottingham on 28th October and Kingston (Hull) on 11th November before playing at home to the Whitley Squaws on Sunday 9th December at Planet Ice Widnes.
Saturday 13th October 2018 – Women’s Premier League
Sheffield Shadows 3 – Widnes Wild Women’s Team 1
Period Scores: 2-0, 0-1, 1-0
Shots on Goal: Sheffield 44 – Widnes 28 (13-14, 19-6, 12-8)
Penalties In Minutes: Sheffield 12 – Widnes 4
Widnes Scoring: Leen de Decker 1+0, Amanda Williams 0+1
Match Officials: Ray Ormes – Referee, Lee Twell – Linesman, Luca Sheldon – Linesman
Report by Paul Breeze – www.icehockeyreview.co.uk
Photos by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com