Bulldogs show spirit against a dominant Wild
Returning to the line-up were Tom Ratcliffe and Bobby Caunce while Tom Barry, Joshua Benstead and Joe Greaves did not make an appearance for Sundays must win game.
Still fresh in the first period of the game, Tom Jackson put Wild ahead with a long distance shot straight into the bottom corner of the Bradford goal. Less than a minute later Wild doubled their lead after a bad clearance from Bradford gave Lee Pollitt possession of the puck which he slotted passed net-minder Jake Higham. Filip Supa then extended the lead even further after sliding the puck in the bottom corner to make it 3-0. Shortly after another goal was conceded by the Bulldogs with the Wild showing great team work as Filip Supa passed to Wild captain Matt Wainwright whose attempt at goal rebounded back out to Supa who tapped it in for the fourth Wild goal in less than 5 minutes.
First penalty of the game was issued to Bradford Bulldogâ€™s assistant captain Chris Hutchinson for a delay of the game. Matt Wainwright had another attempt at goal for Wild, however was unable to succeed but Wild were rampant and soon after a fifth goal was awarded to Widnes as Supa fed Dippnal who fired at goal only to save the Bradford keeper deflect the puck out to Lee Pollitt who graciously took that gift and scored.
The Wild rampage then receded until with just over five minutes left of the first period Keiran Strangeway set up Danny Bullock leading to another well taken goal for the Wild. The seventh goal came just two minutes before interval with another mistake from the Bradford Bulldogs as they passed the puck straight to Danny Bullock who helped himself to another goal. With just over the first period remaining a penalty was given to the Wildâ€™s Bobby Caunce for tripping.
The opening of the second third saw a significant improvement from the Bulldogs with several key saves being made by Bulldogâ€™s net-minder Jake Higham after Bullock, Supa and Pollitt peppered the Bradford net with shots. Showing spirit the Bulldogs had their fair share of chances at goal but all were saved by Widnes and GB net-minder Nicole Jackson.
A bad clearance by the Bulldogs led to Ben Brown shooting on the Bradford net only for it to be well saved by the reinvigorated Bulldogs keeper. However Bradford couldnâ€™t sustain their resurgence and in the closing stages of the second period Bobby Caunce stole to puck and used his exceptional speed to score a well-placed low corner goal. Ten seconds later Shaun Dippnal fired the puck at the Bradford net hitting the crossbar and finding its way into the back of the net, giving the Wild a 9-0 lead going into the final 20 minutes of the game.
The players return to the ice for an energetic start with the keepers being forced to make saves made at both ends of the rink, There was some great combination play from the Wild with Shuan Dippnal passing to Bobby Caunce who passed back to Dippnal who narrowly missed the target. Shortly after there was another chance for Wild as Filip Supa stole the puck and then used quick pace towards to power towards the Bradford keeper who made another outstanding save.
With less than five minutes of the game the Wild finally hit double figures after Dippnall passed the puck from behind the net to an unmarked Matt Wainwright scored with a well-placed shot.
There were well-deserved MVP awards for Bradfordâ€™s Troy Evans, a former Wild player, and Wild star Nicole Jackson for Widnes. Widnes are now poised for to secure a playoff place next weekend if Hull Jets fail to take points off either Telford Tigers or Solihull Barons.
Reported by Jess Cowie