The YKK Widnes Wild team that won the 2021 NIHL North Cup after a 3-2 home victory over the Blackburn Hawks on Saturday. (Photo by Geoff White)
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild won the NIHL North Cup for the first time ever after a weekend that saw them beat the highly fancied Blackburn Hawks 3-2 at Planet Ice Widnes on Saturday – to complete an historic double over them – before losing 7-4 away to Nottingham Lions in the dead rubber match on Sunday.
After an exciting 5 weeks of competition, Widnes finished top of the 4-team NIHL North Cup table with 8 points from their 6 games. Blackburn Hawks were second – also with 8 points from 6 games but were placed below the Wild in second due to an inferior playing record in games between those two teams. Sheffield Scimitars finished third with 7 points and Nottingham Lions fourth with 4 points.
For the record, the Wild’s Cup results overall were:
- 27th Feb: 3-9 win away @ Blackburn
- 6th Mar: 6-3 home v Nottingham
- 13th Mar: 5-6 win away @ Sheffield
- 20th Mar: 3-4 loss home v Sheffield
- 27th Mar: 3-2 win home v Blackburn
- 28th Mar: 7-4 loss away @ Nottingham
The Wild’s Richard Haggar was the overall top scorer in the NIHL North Cup competition with 7 goals and 11 assists for 18 points in total. Adam Barnes was second with 8+5, level with Nottingham’s Jack Hopkins.
Widnes netminder Matt Croyle finished top of the pile in the goal tending standings with a 92.26 save percentage, having conceded just 13 goals from 168 shots faced.
- Report by Paul Breeze
- Photos by Geoff White