Following on from the Wild’s success in retaining their Laidler Division Play Off title, as well as finishing second in the league for third time in a row, we asked head coach Ollie Barron how he felt the season had gone overall, and here is what he had to say:
“Another season has gone by – and another successful season rounded off with hosting a great playoff weekend and claiming our second Playoff Championship in two years.
Our original target at the start of the season had been to finish as league champions, which I feel was achievable with the squad we had. However, the Laidler Division was much stronger compared to previous years – the league table reflected that this season – and it was a enjoyable league to be part of.
One area we did struggle with was player availability which changed the balance and depth of the squad from week to week. This factor – combined with a very strong division – saw us just fall short again in the league, finishing second for the third successive season. That’s not to take anything away from Sutton Sting as champions – they were the most consistent team over the full season and were deserved title winners. However, I do believe that we have made progress in my two years as coach, which is very promising.
The playoff weekend was a huge success with Widnes hosting the event for the first time. The fans / volunteers and rink staff put on a great weekend and that deserves recognition.
Rounding the season off with the playoff trophy was very special, we fought hard in the semi final, coming from behind, and eventually taking the game on penalty shots. We showed character in that game. Hull played a great game as they have all season but our determination is what got us through.
In the final, we played a disciplined game. We had a great start to the game leading 2-0 into the first period break but then Sutton got back level at 2-2 in the second. I felt our third goal was vital as it gave us the momentum again and believe. To win the game 6-3 was very pleasing, and to win the Playoffs in our home rink in front of our great fans was very special.
I’d like to thank everyone for their support this year. Widnes Wild is a great club, and one I am happy to have been a part of for the last two seasons.”