The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild have a tough weekend ahead of them with a trip away to the Telford Tigers 2 team on Saturday and then a home game against local rivals Deeside Dragons at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday – 5.30 p.m. face off.
Please note that the home game on Sunday against Deeside will see the club’s annual Christmas “Teddy Toss” event where supporters are invited to bring along soft toys which will be thrown onto the ice and gathered up to be given to children who will be in hospital over the Christmas period, and other worthy causes.
Because they all come into contact with the ice surface (which is wet…), fans are asked to make sure that their soft toys are wrapped up in plastic so that they don’t get damaged, otherwise they can’t be used. For health and safety reasons, toys must be new but in previous years any toys that were damaged or unsuitable to be given to children were taken to the dogs home – so nothing goes to waste!
Trips to Telford are always a challenge and the Wild have had slim pickings there in recent seasons. However, the Tigers 2 team has not had the best of seasons so far, having won just 5 of their 14 league games to date and are currently sitting in 5th place in the Laidler Division table.
Widnes beat them 9 – 1 on Merseyside three weeks ago and since then the Tigers have lost both home and away to the Altrincham Aces but there is no such thing as a sure thing in ice hockey and Saturday’s game will be a tough test for the Wild.
The Tigers roster includes former Wild import Filip Supa and the sparks often fly when he comes up against his former team mates.
The home game on Sunday against Deeside is the first meeting between the two teams this season. Fierce rivalry has developed over the years, due to the relative close proximity – in ice hockey terms at least – and a regular interchange of players.
This season, Widnes have several former Dragons players in their ranks, including summer signings M.J. Clancy and Jonah Armstrong, while coaching brothers Mike and Dave Clancy have also had associations with Deeside.
On the flip side of the coin, the Dragons’ Matthew Wainwright played a season for the Wild back in 2014/15 and Sam Plant, Geraint Evans and Mike Rogers have also played Rec. Hockey at Widnes in recent years.
The Dragons have had a see-saw start to the season, winning away at Hull Jets in their first league game but then losing 6 of the next 8 fixtures. They are currently on a three game winning streak, having beaten Altrincham Aces, Sheffield Senators and Blackburn Hawks 2 and will certainly represent tough opposition for the Wild on Sunday.
Widnes are playing ‘catch up’ in the Laidler Division at present, having played fewer games than all the other teams, due to their taking part in the NIHL Midland Cup competition.
After a somewhat erratic start to the season, they have now managed to put a decent run together that has seen them pick up competitive points against higher League opposition for the first time ever and also win their last two league games – the 9 – 1 home win against Telford and then beating league leaders Bradford Bulldogs 5 – 2 last Sunday.
The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild travel to Telford this Saturday 7th December and then take on Deeside Dragons at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
Face off is at 5.30 p.m. and doors open at 4.45 p.m.
The Academy Under 9s team play their first home cross-ice tournament of the season this Saturday 7th December at Planet Ice Widnes – 6.15pm start. Free admission.
The Wild Under 13s are away to Blackburn on Saturday – 4.45 p.m. face off while the Under 18s are away to Deeside Under 18s team on Saturday, – 5.30 p.m. face off.