Sunday 1st March: Widnes Wild Women’s Team 8 – Telford Wrekin Raiders 1 (Div 1 North)
The Widnes Wild women’s team moved clear on points at the top of the women’s Division 1 North table after a convincing 8 – 1 win over title rivals Telford Wrekin Raiders at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
With three teams tied on 12 points before the game, this was a very important result as it overturned the 7 – 2 defeat away to Telford back in November and it means that, should the two teams finish on the same number of points at the end of the season, Widnes would take the higher position.
Telford actually scored first in this game, winning the face off and firing the puck into the net on their very first attack. The Wild Women equalised in the sixth minute with a well taken goal from Leen de Decker and then edged into the lead a minute later with an unassisted goal from Catherine Bowen-Fell.
While the Telford team had plenty of puck possession and shots on goal, they weren’t able to make the most of their chances and Widnes moved further ahead with a goal on 16 minutes from team captain Emma Pearson.
The second period played out in similar vein, with the visitors looking constantly dangerous in attack but Wild netminder Stephanie Drinkwater put in a very solid performance and performed heroics to keep the puck out of the net.
The Wild women extended their lead on 26 minutes with a short-handed goal from de Decker and then an incredible spell saw them score three more goals in the space of 66 seconds – two more from de Decker to bring her total for the game to four and a second for Emma Pearson – to put the game well and truly beyond the reach of Telford.
The third period saw just one goal scored when GB Women’s Under 18 international Katie Fairclough fired in a rocket shot from some distance to make the score 8 – 1. The Wild Women thought they had scored again with just 90 seconds left on the clock but the goal was disallowed by the match officials.
The Edith Smith MVP Awards were presented by match night volunteer Julia Shutt and went to Rachel Logan for Telford and netminder Stephanie Drinkwater for Widnes.
This victory means that the Wild women finish their home season with a 100% record of five wins in five league games.
They have two more games to play – away to Solway Sharks Ladies on Saturday 14th March and away to Nottingham Vipers on Saturday 18th April with both the league title and promotion play offs firmly in their sights.