Wild women netminder Stephanie Drinkwater receives the MVP award from mascot Jacob Downe and match volunteer Lauren Holt (Photo by Paul Breeze).
Sunday 6th October 2019: Widnes Wild Women 7 – Sheffield Shadows 2 (WNIHL Div 1 North)
The Widnes Wild women’s team got the new WNIHL Division 1 North season off to the best possible start with a 7 – 2 win over the Sheffield Shadows ladies team at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
Following a couple of seasons of team re-building and new player development, it was actually the first time that the Wild Women had won in the league since their 0 – 2 win away at Nottingham Vipers in December 2017 and the first win at home since November 2016, when they beat Kingston Diamonds 6 – 4 in the Women’s Premier League – so the result was very warmly welcomed.
The game was played at a furious pace throughout and was highly entertaining to watch. Sheffield took the lead with a goal on 5 minutes but the Wild were level less than 60 seconds later, with a great strike from Catherine Bowen-Fell. Two quick-fire goals within 30 seconds of each other from team captain Emma Pearson towards the end of the period handed the Wild Women a 3 – 1 lead at the first break.
Last season’s top goal scorer Sav Sumner further extended the lead with a goal just 1 minute and 13 seconds into the second period. Both teams had numerous chances but the period remained goalless until Sheffield scored a goal with 30 seconds to go. However, the Wild Women countered almost immediately with a hat-trick goal for Emma Pearson and the score stood at 5 – 2 at the second period break.
Sheffield upped their game in the third period and bombarded the Wild net with shots but Stephanie Drinkwater pulled off some excellent saves as the Widnes defence managed to keep the Shadows’ attack at bay. A fourth goal for Emma Pearson in the 50th minute edged the Wild further ahead and the scoring for the evening was rounded off by Catherine Bowen-Fell with just 3 minutes left to play.
The Edith Smith Memorial MVP awards were presented by junior mascot Jacob Downe and match volunteer Lauren Holt, with netminders Shannon Schneider and Stephanie Drinkwater the respective recipients for the Shadows and the Wild.
The Wild women’s team are next in action on Saturday 16th November when they travel away to face last season’s champions Telford Wrekin Raiders and they are next at home on Sunday 15th December when they entertain the Solway Sharks Ladies Team at Planet Ice Widnes.