Widnes Wild continued their great form when they travelled to Bradford on Saturday evening. They welcomed young defenseman Joe Gilbert to their line up whilst Kieron Strangeway, Calum Ruddick, Ben Brown, Pavel Vales & Danny Bullock were all unavailable for selection.
The game started at a quick pace with both sides sharing good scoring opportunities, but it would be Scott Mckenzie that opened the scoring for the Wild, utilising good build up team play which would see the player coach find space and fire an unstoppable slap shot past former Wild netminder Nicole Jackson. This opener was then added to with a goals from Geoff Wigglesworth and two from Wild Captain Shaun Dippnall within the opening 10 minutes of the game. Bradford managed to claw a goal back but Mckenzie replied almost straight away to end the period 5-1 to the Wild.
The Wild chose to change their net minder to start the 2nd period with the experienced Greg Ruxton being replaced by Wild prospect Josh Benstead. An early goal from Geoff Wigglesworth followed by McKenzie’s hat-trick goal made it 7-1. However, a cricket score was not on the cards as the Bulldogs showed the tenacity alluded to by their name and would not give up. They came back with two quick goals to bring the game to within 4 goals at 7-3 before Widnes Wild defenceman Lee Kemp found himself on the scoresheet with a strike just before the buzzer sounded to end the second period 8-3 in the Wild’s favour.
Nicole Jackson in the Bradford net faced a massive 29 shots in the third period without conceding any more goals to the Wild and her incredible performance inspired her team to score two unanswered and deserved goals to bring the score line back to a credible 8-5 in favour of the Widnes Wild. Joe Gilbert would collect the man of the match award for the Wild after a sterling display on his debut.
Whilst an entertaining game but not one necessarily for the season highlights reel the Wild returned to Halton with another two points banked and maintaining their second spot in the league.
Widnes Wild return to action this Sunday to face the Blackburn Eagles, tickets can be purchased through box office at Silver Blades Widnes 0151 420 7930. Alternatively email; firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
To catch up with all the highlights from the season so far, click on the link below;