The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild made it 8 wins in a row with a 2-5 win away at local rivals Deeside Dragons in North Wales on Sunday.
It was first meeting between the two teams for almost 18 months – and the last time the Wild played the main Dragons team (as opposed to the “Dragons 2” team that played in the Laidler Division last season) was in the one-off promotion game at Blackburn Arena in April 2017 when the Dragons dramatically snatched victory in overtime to deny Widnes promotion to the Moralee Division.
This game was also very close with lots of chances for both teams but Widnes scored the only goal of the first period through player coach Ollie Barron just 90 seconds into the game.
The Wild also started the second period well – with Jakub Hajek making the most of a powerplay situation to double the lead just 34 seconds from the restart – and then Michal Novak edging the visitors further ahead some 19 seconds after that.
This seemed to buck the Dragons up somewhat and they played their best hockey during the second period – pulling two goals back on 28 and 32 minutes to bring the score back to 2-3. Widnes edged further ahead again with a goal from Simon Offord on 36 minutes and this left the score at the second break standing at 2-4 to the Wild.
The scoring for the evening was wrapped up when Stuart Brittle scored the 5th Widnes goal on a delayed penalty call in the 50th minute and the Wild were able to bring 2 league points – plus local bragging rights – back to Halton.
The Wild remain top of the Laidler Division table with 22 points from their 13 league games to date. They are 3 points clear of both Sheffield Senators – who have played one game less – and Hull Jets who have played one game more and are the next visitors to Planet Ice Widnes this Sunday 25th November.
After the game, Wild player coach Ollie Barron said:
“A great team effort. I thought we played a great game last night, we dominated large passages of play in the Deeside end zone. We played a hard disciplined game, and every player put in their all to ensure we came away with the points.”
“Deeside have had a good little run, beating Hull, Telford and Aces so we knew we were in for a difficult game. We played hard for a full 60 minutes – so it was a very pleasing performance.”
“Our fans were great and got behind us from the first puck drop, making lots of noise for the boys. We have a tough run of fixtures coming up so we must get ready on Thursday in practice for the visit of Hull Jets.”
Sunday 18th November 2018 – Laidler Division
Deeside Dragons 2 – Widnes Wild 5
Period Scores: 0-1, 2-3, 0-1
Shots on Goal: Dragons 29 – Widnes 36 (10-15, 13-11, 6-10)
Penalties In Minutes: Dragons 22 – Widnes 10
Widnes Scoring: Stuart Brittle 1+2, Jakub Hajek 1+1, Ollie Barron, Simon Offord, Michal Novak all 1+0, Mikey Gilbert, Ross Jordan, Tom Jackson, Shaun Dippnall all 0+1
Match Officials: Oliver Trusswell – Referee, Lorna Beresford – Linesman, Simon Clark – Linesman
Report by Paul Breeze – www.icehockeyreview.co.uk
Photos by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com