The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild returned from their National Division 2 Championship game empty handed after a 1-7 defeat to Slough Jets in Coventry on Sunday afternoon.
It was the first time that the Wild had ever played a competitive game against a team from NIHL South and, while it was a privilege for the North 2 champions to be involved in this one-off game against the South 2 champions, it will probably be looked back on as a bit of a disappointment overall. Slough had the upper hand for long periods of the game and when Widnes did have their chances, they weren’t able to make them count.
That said, the first period was, in fact, very close and Widnes had the chance to take the lead after Jakub Hajek was felled while bearing down on goal and he was awarded a penalty shot. Unfortunately, his attempt was blocked by the Slough netminder’s pad and the first goal eventually went to the Jets in the 17th minute.
Slough edged further ahead early in the second period and were 4-0 up before Chris Gee finally put the Wild on the score-sheet with just under 2 minutes to go to the second break.
Any hopes of a third period rally by the Wild were dashed by another Slough goal just two minutes from the restart – the fifth from the same player, Sean Norris – and insult was added to injury with two more goals within 20 seconds of each with five minutes left on the clock, which rounded off the scoring for the game at 1-7 to the Jets.
Widnes Wild: Luke Wilson (NM), Daniel Bracegirdle, Oliver Barron, Ken Armstrong, Daniel Bullock, Scott Cooper, Lee Kemp (AC), Michael Gilbert, Daniel Fay, Berwyn Hughes, Simon Offord (C), Stuart Brittle (AC), Barry Sprakes, Matthew Croyle (NM), Chris Gee, Jakub Hajek, Ross Jordan, Thomas George Jackson, Michael Robert Mawer, Shaun Dippnall
Slough Jets: Adam Rosbottom, Liam Underdown (AC), Jamie Chandler, Harry Wright, Nathan Darmanin, Timo Lindgren, Luke Joseph Dreelan, Simon Griffiths, Sean Gregory Norris, Harry Simon Harcup, Tom Fisher, Craig Cowell, Daniel Rose ©, Matthew Smital (NM), Luke Smital, Lukas Smital, Brett Lewis Shepherd (NM), Robert Horsfall, Benjamin Luke Eastwood, Liam Poulson, Ryan Handisides (AC), Luke Reynolds
Report by Paul Breeze – www.icehockeyreview.co.uk