MATCH REPORT: Jets 3 â€“ 6 Wild
An arduous journey for the team bus saw Wild arrive in Hull less than an hour from face off time, cutting short preparation and warm up. Defenceman Dan Etherington was unavailable due to work committments but Kurtis Hall made a surprise re-appearance. A sparse crowd welcomed the teams, with almost half supporting the visitors.
it was hardly surprising when the Stingrays took the lead in the 13th minute, when young Elite League star Lee Bonner backhanded home with support from Ward and Sadinovs. Wild were counter attacking on the break and were unlucky not to equalise. However Hull were moving the puck well and Greg Ruxton in the Widnes net had to be at his best as Stingrays applied the pressure. Frustratingly, Hull went further ahead in the 16th minute with a power play goal, when Pearson fired home from short range from a Sayer pass. Widnes were counter attacking well and Dalby made a series of fine saves.
Wild came out after the interval with renewed vigour but fell further behind when on a breakaway, experienced Jamie Cobley , fired high past Ruxton. Within a minute Widnes were back in it when Bobby Caunce took advantage of an Andy Clark pass, to shoot home. In the 26th minute Chris Preston broke clear down the right for Wild and his pinpoint pass was fired home by Andy Clark, from just inside the blue line. A superb goal which visibly lifted Widnes who continued to apply pressure. Two goals inside a minute saw Widnes take control. First Shaun Dippnall fired high into the net on the powerplay after Ruddick and Supa had combined. Next, the influential Ben Simister found the net after good work by Ben Brown.
The third period saw the superior fitness and longer bench of the visitors as the Wild took control. First, overseas star Filip Supa fired home from a Callum Ruddick pass in the 45th minute. Within minutes Ruddick, the big defenceman, was on his way to the dressing room, dismissed for a slashing offence, following an altercation with Jordan Fisher close to the Wild net. Widnes made the game safe just three minutes from the end when Ben Simister scored his second goal of the game following good work from Dippnall. Desperate Hull offence yielded no reward and Widnes almost went further ahead as Bobby caunce tried to find the empty net.
This was a great comeback from Widnes with all players contributing to a memorable win.