Wild Go Top After Mauling Bulldogs
The RTL sponsored Widnes Wild ice hockey team moved 2 points clear at the top of the NIHL Laidler Conference after an impressive 8-0 shut out of Bradford Bulldogs at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday night.
Obviously buoyed by their 2-10 win away in Hull the night before, the Wild side were able to carry their momentum through overnight and raced to an impressive 3-0 lead by the mid-point of the first period.
The opening phase of the game was very closely contested and, despite being few in number, the visiting Bradford side looked well organised both in defence and attack. However, the first Widnes strike came after 4 minutes when Kieran Strangeway hit home a Stuart Brittle pass and, just 39 seconds later, Nick Manning found the net again to double the lead.
Brittle himself then scored on 9.33 and then two more goals from – David Swanston (shorthanded) and Karl Niamatali – meant that the Wild left the ice at first buzzer with a 5 goal advantage.
The start of the second period was delayed for a few minutes while rink staff worked to repair a gap in the ice along the boards behind one of the goals and the extra breather must have benefited the Bulldogs as they came out a changed team. They held their own for much of the period and looked on top of the play for long spells.
Dogged defensively play from the Wild team brought several penalties and they were often caught on the back foot as the Bulldogs charged forward in search of their first goal. With the Widnes side playing shorthanded for extended sessions, netminder Matt Croyle faced more shots in the second period than he did for whole of the rest of game but he pulled off a string of amazing saves and would go to pick up his first shut out for Widnes – in his first game on home ice.
An element of relief was felt when, just as it looked as if the period would finish goalless, Czech import Pavel Vales fired in an unstoppable slapshot from the blue line on 37.59 to make it 6-0 to Widnes.
Goals from Will Barron and Stuart Brittle rounded off the scoring in the third period and the Wild were able to celebrate their fourth consecutive league win of the season by moving two points clear at the top of the league table with a 100% record.
The Widnes Wild are without a game next weekend but are in home action again on Sunday 9th October when they entertain Blackburn Eagles at Silver Blades Widnes. Doors open at 4.45pm and face off is at 5.30.
Sunday 25th September 2016 – Laidler Conference
Widnes Wild 8 – Bradford Bulldogs 0
Period Scores: 5-0, 1-0, 2-0
Shots on Goal: Widnes 67 – Bradford 32
Penalties in Minutes: Widnes 56 – Bradford 16
Stuart Brittle 2+1, Karl Niamatali 1+2, Will Barron, Nick Manning, Pavel Vales all 1+1, Kieran Strangeway & David Swanston both 1+0, Ollie Barron 0+2, Andrew Turner, Joe Gilbert, Tom Jackson, Sheldon Cassidy & Shaun Dippnall all 0+1