The Wild beat Bradford Bulldogs with a thrilling overtime goal in the first home meeting between the teams last season (Photo by Geoff White)
The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild return to Laidler Division action this weekend when they take on league leaders Bradford Bulldogs at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday – 5.30 p.m. face off.
The Wild will be boosted by their performance last Sunday against Moralee Division Blackburn Hawks in the NIHL Midland Cup, when they came away with a thoroughly deserved competitive point for a 5 – 5 draw at the end of regulation time. This was the first time that they had ever taken a point off their higher league opponents and, despite playing with a severely depleted squad, were unlucky not to win the game outright – but instead slumped to a “golden goal” overtime loss.
As they have been concentrating on Cup games in recent weeks, the Wild are lagging behind in the Laidler Division stakes and have games in hand over all the other teams. Their opponents on Sunday – Bradford Bulldogs – have had a really good start to the season, having won 10 of their league games to date.
The Wild beat Bradford 5 times last season – 4 times in the league and once in the Play Off semi final – but the only meeting between the two teams this season so far saw the Bulldogs pull off a 5 – 1 victory in West Yorkshire at the start of November.
If the Wild are able to beat the Bulldogs on Sunday and do well in their games in hand as they play catch-up over the next few months, they should hopefully be up competing with the other leading teams at the top of the division.
Sunday’s game is likely to see the Wild debut of new signing Callum Worthington-Evans from Peterborough Phantoms. Worthington-Evans is a former Nottingham junior but has played 8 seasons with Peterborough’s second string team, as well as having made a few appearances for Sheffield Senators and Telford Tigers.
Also on Sunday, Wild Academy player Ollie Cliffe will be having his hair cut off for charity. The Under 11s player has been growing his hair long and plans to donate it to the Little Princess Trust who make wigs out of donated hair for children and young people who have lost their own hair due to cancer.
Ollie has also been raising money for the charity and is close to his £500 target.
There will be a brief figure skating demonstration during the first period break on Sunday, as members of the Widnes Ice Skating Club showcase highlights from the “Sleeping Beauty on Ice” show which is being staged at Planet Ice Widnes on Wednesday, 18th December.
The Wild Academy Under 15s are in action this Saturday 30th November when they make the relatively short trip to North Wales to play the Deeside Dragons Under 15s – face off 6.30 p.m.
The Academy Under 9s Team are away in Telford the same day to take part in a multi-team cross-ice tournament.