The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild had to come from behind before storming to an impressive 5-9 win away to local rivals Deeside Dragons on Sunday.
After a tense opening phase, Deeside opened the scoring in the 10th minute but a short handed goal from Wild player coach Ollie Barron levelled the score just 60 seconds later. The Dragons certainly looked the better side in the first period, though, and two more goals handed them a 3-1 lead at the first period break.
Widnes were quicker out of the blocks in the second period, however, and Ollie Barron pulled a goal back just 31 seconds from the restart. Lee Kemp fired in the equaliser in the 28th minute and three more unanswered goals – from Bez Hughes and two more from Barron – gave the Wild a healthy 3-5 lead to carry into the final period.
A Ken Armstrong strike on 42 minutes edged the Wild further ahead but that was cancelled out by a Deeside goal 4 minutes later. A powerplay goal from Danny Bullock 2 minutes after that restored the Wild’s 3-goal lead and a hat trick goal from the Dragons’ Gavin Austin gave the home fans hope heading into the last 5 minutes. A Stuart Brittle strike just 20 seconds later ended any Deeside hopes of a late comeback and the score remained 5-9 to the Wild at the final buzzer.
After the game, Wild player coach Ollie Barron said:
“On Sunday we visited Deeside to take on the Dragons – a local derby game where we needed to get some momentum heading into the playoffs. We had quite a few players missing with work commitments, so the lines weren’t the usual lines we have being playing in recently. We started slowly and credit to Deeside they punished us, we ended the first period trailing the home side 3-1.”
“In the second we showed why we are champions, we came out and upped our tempo, attitudes and commitment, with every player giving their all and playing their part for the team, the third period followed suit from the second. A pleasing victory overall to take the game 9-5.“
“We now have one league game remaining on Sunday at home again against the Dragons. We need to play for a full 60 minutes and prepare ourselves for our upcoming playoff competitions. I also thought our fans were yet again outstanding, making so much noise for the boys, lets pack the rink on Sunday!”
Two wins over the weekend saw the Bradford Bulldogs grab the last remaining place in the end of season play offs – which will take place at Planet Ice Widnes over the weekend of 20th and 21st April.
There are two semi final games on the Saturday – where Widnes Wild as champions will take on the team that finishes 4th in the league table at 4.30pm and Telford Tigers – who are confirmed runners up – will play the team that finishes third at 7.30pm. The two semi final winners will meet in the play off final at 5.30pm on the Sunday.
The final placings for Bradford and Hull Jets are yet to be decided as there are still games outstanding in their respective league programmes.
Widnes have won the play off title for the past two seasons and will be looking to secure an historic third in a row at this year’s tournament.
Tickets for the weekend are selling quickly and latest information can be obtained from the Planet Ice Rink by calling 0151 420 7930 – or following the link below:
The Widnes-based Riverside Raiders team won their opening Summer Classic Cup match 10-8 away to the Shropshire Huskies in Telford on Saturday. Alex Hannah, James Kelly, Jack Walker and Michael Parkin all scored two goals each, with the others coming from Mike Filek and Bobby Samari.
The Summer Classic Cup has an expanded format for 2019 comprising 10 teams overall split into Western and Eastern Conferences – with the top teams after the group stages meeting in semi finals and a final in August.
The Raiders are playing in the Western Conference along with the Flintshire Phantoms from Deeside, Wyre Seagulls and Blackburn Buccaneers from Blackburn and the Shropshire Huskies, with teams playing each other once at home and once away in the group stage.
The Raiders have two more away games – at Wyre Seagulls on 27th April and Flintshire Phantoms on 5th May before their first home game of the competition on Sunday 9th June against the Phantoms.
- Sunday 23rd March 2019 – Laidler Division
- Deeside Dragons 5 – Widnes Wild 9
- Period Scores: 3-1, 0-5, 2-3
- Shots on Goal: Dragons 31 – Widnes 28 (10-9, 10-10, 11-9)
- Penalties In Minutes: Dragons 22 – Widnes 20
- Widnes Scoring: Ollie Barron 4+0, Danny Bullock & Stuart Brittle 1+2, Lee Kemp 1+1, Ken Armstrong & Bez Hughes 1+0, Jakub Hajek 0+3, Mikey Gilbert 0+2, Tom Jackson & Mike Mawer 0+1
- Match Officials: Juris Susters – Referee, Lorna Beresford – Linesman, Will Fielden – Linesman
- MVPs: Deeside – Gavin Austin / Widnes – Daniel Fay
- Report by Paul Breeze – www.icehockeyreview.co.uk
- Photos by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com