Leen de Decker (#88) puts the Widnes Ladies ahead in the game against Nottingham (Photo by Geoff White)
The Widnes Wild ladies team put in a battling performance in their first home game of the Women’s Premier League season, narrowly losing out 2-3 to Nottingham Vipers at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
After 4 away games in a row, this game had been keenly anticipated and there was a huge crowd in the rink to watch the resumption of rivalries between the same two teams that had drawn 5-5 in the Lace City last weekend.
This was a very good advert for women’s ice hockey, with the two the teams very closely matched throughout. The game could have gone either way and the result remained in doubt until the very last second.
After a tense opening phase, Widnes took the lead after 6 minutes with a goal from Belgian international Leen de Decker and despite mounting pressure from the Vipers’ attack, the score remained 1-0 at the first period break.
The game was littered with niggly penalties for both sides and this seemed to affect the Widnes team most as they found themselves having to defend shorthanded for sustained periods of play.
Nottingham scored their first goal of the game on a powerplay after just 46 seconds of the second period and then edged into the lead with a second strike 4 minutes later.
Widnes fought back and narrowly outshot the Vipers during the second period. Their mounting pressure was eventually rewarded when Jemma Brown fired in a goal on a delayed penalty call for slashing with just 26 seconds left in the second period – leaving the game on a knife edge with everything still to play for.
The third period continued in the similar end-to-end vein and Widnes were caught out at the back while pushing forward on a powerplay to concede a short handed goal in the 47th minute.
Both teams had numerous chances in the latter stages but impressive performances by the netminders at either end saw the rest of the game play out goal-less.
This result sees the Vipers move up into second place in the WPL table while Widnes remain 8th at this early stage of the season.
The Widnes Ladies are without a game now until the New Year when they take on Kingston Diamonds from Hull on 2nd January at Planet Ice Widnes – 4.15pm face off.
The first Winifred Mabel Letts memorial MVP awards of the season were presented at the home game against Nottingham Vipers on Sunday. The presentation was made by Widnes off ice game official Paul Breeze and the awards went to Sarah Kimber for the Vipers and Preston Gennoe for Widnes.
- Sunday 21st November 2021: Women’s Premier League
Widnes Ladies 2 – Nottingham Vipers 3
- Period Scores: 1-0, 1-2, 1-0
Shots on Goal: Widnes 33 – Nottm 34 (11 –11, 13-12, 9-11)
Penalties in Minutes: Widnes 16 – Nottm 16
- Widnes Scoring: Leen de Decker 1+0, Jemma Brown 1+0, Preston Gennoe 0+2, Suzie Miller 0+1
- MVPs: Widnes – Preston Gennoe / Nottm – Sarah Kimber:
- Match Officials: Andrew Parker & Jack Chidley
- Match Report by Paul Breeze
Photos by Geoff White