Weekend Preview

Widnes attack the Hawks2 goal in a Laidler Division match least season (Photo by Geoff White)

The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild return to Laidler Division action this Sunday 29th December when they take on the Blackburn Hawks 2 team at Planet Ice Widnes – 5.30 pm face off.

The Hawks 2 team are very much a development side and have a roster made up mainly of young players with the aim of giving them more ice time and match experience than they might otherwise get if they were sitting on the fringes of the Hawks 1 team.

The Hawks 2 team have lost all 15 of their Laidler Division matches this season, having conceded 211 goals and scored just 10. They sit rock bottom of the league table but their main aim is to develop players rather then challenge for trophies, so their levels of success are to be measured in something more than just terms of league points.

Having played back-to-back cup games against higher league opposition in recent weeks, it will be good for the Wild to be able to concentrate on the league once again as their main aim for the season is to successfully defend the title that they won back in March. Their participation in the Midland Cup means they are lagging behind in terms of matches played and currently find themselves in an artificially low position in the Laidler Division table.

With six or more games in hand over the other top teams in the division, the Wild will be playing “catch up” over the next couple of months and, until they have caught up, it will be difficult to ascertain their realistic overall league standing.

Looking ahead to the game against the Hawks 2, Wild Head Coach Mike Clancy said:

“We are looking at giving the younger players more ice time in these sort of games, also on special plays – not just game time – so the likes of Sam Anderson and Charlie Ratcliffe will feature pretty heavily on the top two lines, backed up by a bit of experience”.

“I think it is reasonable to say that it would be unfair of us to play against these sort of teams using the likes of Hajek, who would just skate rings round everybody. I don’t want it to turn into a farcical game.”

“Putting the puck in the back of the net is really important but also using games like this as a learning experience for the youngsters is equally as important if I want them to be able to compete in other games.”

There will be a short demonstration game between members of the Wild Academy junior development teams during the period break and visitors from the Wild’s chosen charity for this season – Stick ‘n’ Step – will also be attending the game.

The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild take on the Blackburn Hawks 2 development team this Sunday 29th December at Planet Ice Widnes. Face off is at 5.30 pm and doors open at 4.45.

*****
The Wild’s away game against the Hawks 2 team that had originally been scheduled for 28th December will now be played on Sunday 19th January 2020 at Blackburn Arena – face off 5.30 p.m.

The other away game to Blackburn to the Hawks 2 which also had to be re-arranged will take place on Saturday 29th February 2020 – 5.45 p.m. face off.

The Wild’s home game against the Hull Jets that has been postponed from 22nd December, will be arranged for a future date – details still to be confirmed.

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