Weekend Preview: Academy Under 9s In Action

Widnes Wild Academy Manager Mikey Gilbert with junior players of different age groups  (Photo by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com) 

With no Widnes-related ice hockey matches being played this Saturday, the spotlight falls firmly on the Wild Academy Under 9s who are hosting their final “Cross Ice” tournament of the season this Sunday at Planet Ice Widnes, featuring teams from Telford, Kingston (Hull) and Manchester Storm.

U9s “Cross Ice” Hockey at Planet Ice Widnes
(Photo by Jennie Beech)

“Cross Ice” hockey sees games being played across the width of the ice pad, rather than along the length of it, with the goal nets positioned accordingly.

The aim is to help younger players concentrate on developing important skills such as puck-handling, passing, shooting, skating, co-ordination and decision-making without wearing themselves by having to skate the whole length of the ice to reach the goal.

The games are played for fun with no scores or player statistics being recorded and the youngsters get lots of ice time playing against different teams to help build their skills and confidence.

This is the third and final time that the Academy U9s will have hosted a tournament at Planet Ice Widnes this season. They have also played in similar tournaments away in Telford, Deeside, Altrincham, Blackburn, Grimsby and Billingham and have already notched up an impressive 20 games’ worth of invaluable experience in their debut season.

The Wild Academy Under 9s Cross Ice tournament starts at 4.20pm this Sunday 12th May at Planet Ice Widnes and admission is free.


This season is the first that the Widnes Wild Academy have entered the competitive EIHA leagues and have teams at Under 9 and Under 13 and Under 15 level.

Planet Ice Widnes has a very well-organised and structured “learn to play ice hockey” scheme in place and are always keen to attract new players of all age groups – boys and girls.

Anybody interested in joining the Wild Academy should contact the rink on 0151 420 7930 and speak to the Junior Development Officer and Academy Manager Mikey Gilbert.

Summer Diary Dates:

Further Widnes –related ice hockey dates for the coming months are as follows:

  • Sunday 19th May: Wild women’s WPL game home v Sheffield Shadows – 5.30pm face off (last home game of season)
  • Saturday 25th May: Academy U13s away at Nottingham – 5.40pm face off (last game of season)
  • Sunday 26th May: Wild women’s WPL game away at Whitley Bay Squaws – 12.15 face off (last game of season)
  • Sunday 26th May: Riverside Raiders v Trafford Thunder charity game in aid of Christie Hospital Charitable Fund – 4.30pm face off
  • Weekend 1st & 2nd June: EIHA Women’s Trophy Weekend: Women’s Elite League, Women’s Premier League and D1 N&S play offs – plus North v South U16 championship game. 10 games over 2 days – admission free.
  • Sunday 9th June: Riverside Raiders at home to Flintshire Phantoms in Summer Cup – 4.30pm face off.
  • Sunday 23rd June: Riverside Raiders at home to Shropshire Huskies in Summer Cup – 4.30pm face off.
  • Sunday 30th June: Earle Road Elks v Manchester Swarm charity game in aid of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association – 6.30pm face off
  • Sunday 7th July: Riverside Raiders at home to Wyre Seagulls in Summer Cup – 4.30pm face off.
  • Sunday 16th July: Riverside Raiders at home to Blackburn Buccaneers in Summer Cup – 4.30pm face off.

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All Photos ©Gw-Images unless otherwise stated

AddressThe Hive, Earle Rd, Widnes WA8 0TA

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