The RTL-sponsored Widnes Wild have the opportunity to put last weekend’s disappointing defeat away at Altrincham Aces behind them and get some more points on the board with games away at Blackburn Hawks on Saturday and then at home to Sutton Sting on Sunday at Silver Blades Widnes.
The Wild were shut out 2-0 away by the league leaders last Sunday and that result saw the Aces open up a 5 point gap over the Wild at the top of the Laidler Division table. Altrincham have played two games more than Widnes but only have one fixture this weekend when they travel to play Bradford Bulldogs on Saturday evening.
The Wild travel to Blackburn on Saturday to play the Hawks N2 team who are a development team composed mainly of young players and whose only win of the season so far came from a penalty shootout victory over the Deeside Dragons N2 team – who are another development outfit. The Wild beat the Hawks N2 team 16-2 at Silver Blades Widnes at the start of October and, whilst anything can happen in ice hockey – and with the best will in the world – anything other than a win for Widnes on Saturday night would be widely considered to be a major upset.
The visit of Sutton Sting to Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday evening is a completely different matter. The Wild beat the Sting 6-4 in mid-September but that has been the Sutton team’s only defeat all season and, since then, they have put together a very impressive 8-game winning run.
The Sting are the only team to have beaten the Aces in regular time this season – winning 3-5 away at Altrincham at the end of October (the Wild’s home win was an “Overtime Win” as the score was level after 60 minutes of play…).
They have also notched up important away wins in Telford and against Sheffield Senators – although that “away” game – of course – was played at the iceSheffield that both teams use for home games.
Sutton are currently third in the Laidler Division table immediately behind second place Widnes but with an equal number of points. Teams with the same number of points are separated in the standings according to their head to head results so the outcome on Sunday will be very important.
The Wild playing squad was boosted during the week by the return of former team captain Shaun Dippnall to the club. Dippnall had played the early party of the season for Deeside Dragons in the higher Moralee Division where he featured in 9 games and scored 2 goals and 5 assists.
Prior to his move to Deeside in the summer, Dippnall had been with the Wild since they first started back in 2013 and played over 120 games for the club.
The RTL-sponsored Widnes Wild are at home to Sutton Sting this Sunday 12th November at Silver Blades Widnes. Face off is at 5.30pm and doors open at 4.45.