Weekend Preview: 30th & 31st March

Wild celebrations during the 11-4 win over the Dragons back in February (Photo by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com)

The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild play their last game of the regular Laidler Division season this Sunday 31st March when they take on local rivals Deeside Dragons at Planet Ice Widnes – 5-30pm face off.

This has been the Wild’s best season so far in their 6 year history, having won the league title for the first time and they still have more silverware in their sights with the National Division 2 Play Off game coming up in Coventry on 14th April and the Laidler Division Play Offs in Widnes over the weekend of 20th & 21st April.

The Wild have won all three of their meetings with Deeside this season and, while the match on Sunday may be a dead rubber in terms of league positions, games between the two teams are always very keenly contested and local bragging rights are very important.

Widnes will be keen to take a clean sweep of four wins out of four for the first time ever against the Dragons while Deeside will, obviously, be out to spoil the Wild’s championship party night.

In last Sunday’s game away in North Wales, the Dragons put up their best performance of the season against Widnes, storming to a 3-1 first period lead before eventually losing 5-9, so this Sunday’s game is far from a foregone conclusion.

Jakub Hajek is the Wild’s top goal scorer with 36 strikes so far this season (Photo by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com)

An interesting side issue to keep an eye on is the race to be top goal scorer for the season in the Laidler Division.

Deeside’s James Parsons and Wild’s Jakub Hajek are both in contention, with Parsons currently leading the standings with 37 strikes and Hajek in joint second with 36, along with Sheffield Senators’ Thomas Humphreys.

Humphreys is the overall top points scorer for the Division with 36+52=88 and Telford’s Callum Bowley is second with 28+48= 76.

The Wild’s top points scorers to date are Ollie Barron with 31+42=73 and Hajek with 36+34=70 who are 4th and 5th respectively in the overall standings.

The Wild play their last game of the regular Laidler Division season this Sunday when they play the Dragons at Planet Ice Widnes. The game faces off at 5.30pm with doors opening at 4.45 but, as the Wild team will be presented with the league championship trophy and their winners medals after the game, a large crowd is expected so spectators are advised to plan their evening accordingly.

The Wild Academy U15 team at a home game earlier in the season (Photo by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com)

The Wild Academy Under 15 and Under 13 teams both have away games this weekend. On Saturday, the Under 15 team travel away to Blackburn hoping to pick up their second win of the season. They played Blackburn in their very first ever competitive game back in September, losing 11-2, but have improved significantly as the season has gone on and beat them 4-3 in their most recent meeting.

The game in Blackburn faces off at 6.15pm (GMT) on Saturday.

The Wild Academy U13 team after a recent game away at Deeside (Photo by DMH Tyres)

On Sunday, the Under 13s team travel away to Grimsby. The U13s lost their first game away to Grimsby 15-3 back in September but, like their U15 counterparts, have gained a huge amount of match experience as their debut season has gone on and have since beaten Grimsby twice at home – 6-5 and 10-6.

The game in Grimsby faces off at 4.30pm (BST) on Sunday.

DON’T FORGET THAT THE CLOCKS GO FORWARD BY ONE HOUR AT THE WEEKEND AND THAT FACE OFF TIMES FOR MATCHES ON SUNDAY ARE BST! .

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