Sarah Aspinall (#4) scored 4 goals and 1 assist and was also MVP for the Wild women’s team against Nottingham (Photo by Geoff White)
Sunday 5th January: YKK Widnes Wild Women’s Team 15 – Nottingham Vipers 1 (WNIHL Div 1 North)
The Widnes Wild women’s team moved level on points with the league leaders at the top of the Division 1 North table after a comprehensive 15 – 1 win over Nottingham Vipers at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
The Vipers are a new team to this division this season, having been formed during the summer of 2019 as a consequence of the main Vipers team being promoted to the Women’s Elite League. This Vipers second team is more of a development team, aimed at giving younger players and less experienced players more ice time than they would get if they were stuck on the fringes of the Elite League Team. As such, a win always looked very much on the cards for the Wild women on Sunday, but it was a good opportunity to give plenty of ice time to all the players in the squad in preparation the title push ahead.
The Wild took the lead in the fourth minute with a goal from team captain Emma Pearson. Strikes from Leen de Decker, Sarah Aspinall – her first ever league goal – Pearson again, Sav Sumner, Elizabeth Loss and Victoria Venables had the Wild Women 7 – 0 up at the first period break and the game was already over as a contest.
A first ever goal for the Wild’s Laura Marcroft just 39 seconds into the second period put Widnes further ahead but Nottingham fired in their first goal just 90 seconds later and the game tightened up somewhat.
The Nottingham team were buoyed by this goal and upped their game in search of a second. However, the Widnes defence played very well throughout and kept the Vipers shots on Charlotte Jackson’s goal down to single figures. After a goal-less spell of some 12 minutes, Aspinall scored again for the Wild Women, leaving the score 9 – 1 at the end of the second period.
Three minutes into the third period Aspinall scored her hat-trick goal and the lead was further extended with a second strike of the night from Loss and a fine effort from Emma Martin. A fourth goal from Aspinall, a first ever goal for Widnes from Daisy Lloyd-Hazlegreaves and a last-minute strike from Danielle Skilander rounded off the scoring for the Wild women and handed them their highest ever winning margin.
The Edith Smith Memorial MVP Awards were presented by match volunteer Julia Shutt and game mascots Henry Pearson and Lilly Miller and they went to Linaia Trusswell for Nottingham and Sarah Aspinall for Widnes.
A League debut was handed to Shannon Holt, who is a graduate of the Widnes Adult Hockey Basics Programme and has been training with the Wild Women and helping out behind the scenes at matches this season. Shannon picked up an assist and 2 penalty minutes in her first ever game and looks to be a promising asset to the Wild women’s team.
The win sees the Wild women join joint league leaders Telford Wrekin Raiders and Solway Sharks Ladies on 8 points at the top of the Division1 North table.
They are next in action this Saturday 11th January when they make their first ever visit to Lincolnshire to take on the Grimsby Wolves – 4.00 p.m. face off.
The Wild women are next at home on Sunday 16th February with the return match against Grimsby at Planet Ice Widnes – face off 5.30 p.m