Wild Face Bulldogs And Blaze in Opening Weekend
New signing Matt Barlow in action for Widnes against Bristol Pitbulls (Photo by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com)
The RTL sponsored Widnes Wild face their first competitive games of the new NIHL North Division 2 Laidler season this weekend with a trip away to play Bradford Bulldogs on Saturday (5pm face off) and then a game at home to Coventry Blaze at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday.
The trip to West Yorkshire represents an early return to his former club for new Wild signing Matt Barlow who made an impressive debut in the 8-3 win over Bristol Pitbulls last Sunday.
The 18 year old played 32 games for the Bulldogs over the past 2 seasons, scoring 7 goals and 5 assists. He has also played 45 times for the Bulldogs under 18 team and made three guest appearances last season for Deeside Dragons in the Moralee Conference.
The Wild’s two opponents this weekend have both struggled in recent seasons and occupied the bottom two slots in the Laidler table last time around. However, Bradford always produce lots of promising young local players and their rink is notoriously difficult to play at, and Coventry were until fairly recently a North 1 team.
Add into the mix a Sutton Sting team that has spent the last five seasons playing in North 1 and three brand new second string teams from Blackburn, Deeside and Telford, and it is really difficult to predict how the division will pan out this season.
There’s certainly a lot to look forward as Ollie Barron’s new side look to build on last season’s runners-up position in the league!
The RTL sponsored Widnes Wild are at home this Sunday 3rd September 2017 when they face Coventry Blaze at Silver Blades Widnes. The game faces off at 5.30pm and doors open at 4.45.
Report by Paul Breeze (www.icehockeyreview.co.uk)
Photo: Matt Barlow making his Widnes debut – by Geoff White (www.gw-images.com)