Hat-trick hero Kieran Brown slots away his Penalty Shot in the game against Nottingham on Saturday (Photo by Geoff White)
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild maintained the pressure at the top of the Three Rivers Cup table with a highly entertaining 8-5 victory over the Nottingham Lions at Planet Ice Widnes on Saturday.
This game was played at a furious pace throughout and there were plenty of chances for both sides but overall Widnes were able to make the most of their opportunities.
They took the lead through a Thomas Barry goal after just 8 minutes and went further ahead 4 minutes later with a great strike from Dani Haid.
The Lions looked all out of sorts at this point and conceded a penalty shot in the 14th minute when the Wild’s Kieran Brown was brought down in front of goal, foiling a clear shooting opportunity.
Brown fired in the shot from a cheeky angle after wrong footing the Lions netminder to make the score 3-0 and things were looking good for the Wild. A fourth goal came for Widnes on 17 minutes with a strike from Adam Barnes and the Wild were able to take an impressive 4-0 lead into the first period break.
The second period continued in pretty much the same vein as the first with Widnes scoring two more goals – through Kieran Brown just 51 seconds form the restart and then Joe Coulter on 25 minutes to extend the lead to 6 goals.
Nottingham had actually had plenty of chances of their own up to this point but had failed to make them count – due mainly to the impressive display by Phil Pearson in the Widnes goal.
A change of netminder for the Lions mid way through the game improved their fortunes and they visibly upped their game in the later stages. The first Nottingham goal came on 27 minutes followed by a second on 32 minutes, leaving the score at 6-2 at the second period break.
The visitors actually scored again early in the third period to narrow the deficit to just three goals but further Widnes strikes from Haid on 45 minutes and a hat-trick goal for Brown on 47 steadied the ship and gave the Wild a significant lead with 12 minutes left to play. Two more goals for Nottingham – on 49 and 53 minutes meant that Widnes couldn’t sit back too much but they had already done enough to seal the win and the score finished at 8-5 to the Wild.
After the game, Wild player coach Richard Haggar said:
“The first period we came out and really put Nottingham under pressure doing what we needed to and finishing our chances to take a 4-0 lead. The second period we continued to do all the right things and went 6-0 ahead which allowed us to manage the game to come away with the win and continue our progression as a team.”
“The overall team performance was our best so far and we continue to improve week on week. I couldn’t ask for more from the team as everyone continues to put 110% in, whether it’s training or games. Our final 2 games of the series are next weekend where we will go again to try and come away with another 2 wins and secure our place in the playoffs and push Sheffield all the way for the series title.”
The other game of the weekend saw group leaders Sheffield Scimitars beat Nottingham 6-3 on Sunday to move onto 10 points. Widnes now have 6 points and two games left to play so all options are still open at this stage.
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild are away to Nottingham Lions this Saturday 15th May in a 3.30pm face off and are next at home the following day when they take on the Sheffield Scimitars in their last group match of the Three Rivers Cup at Planet Ice Widnes – 6.30pm face off.
No spectators are allowed into the venue to watch the games due to Covid safety regulations but they will be live-streamed over the internet and also covered on the Wild’s official Twitter feed.
- Saturday 8th May 2021 – NIHL North Three Rivers Cup
- YKK Widnes Wild 8 – Nottingham Lions 5
- Period Scores: 4-0, 2-2, 3-2
- Shots on Goal: Widnes 31 – Nottingham 40 (14-9, 9-19, 8-12)
- Penalties In Minutes: Widnes 8 – Nottingham 0
- Match Officials: Chris Wells (Referee), Stuart Smith & Andy Hesselwood (Linesmen)
- Match Report by Paul Breeze
- Photos by Geoff White