Wild Host Aces in North West Derby – Preview With Ollie Barron
The RTL sponsored Widnes Wild face north-west rivals Altrincham Aces in what will be their penultimate Laidler Conference game of the season this Sunday 19th March at Silver Blades Widnes.
While the Wild may have already sewn up second place in the league table and secured a place in the end of season play offs, there is still a lot to play for as the Aces are mounting a late surge for qualification themselves. They are currently in 5th place in the table but have games in hand over 4th place Nottingham Lions and could, potentially, overtake them to snatch the last play-off place if results go their way.
The Wild will be keen to take the two points themselves to ensure they finish as close as possible behind champions Blackburn Eagles in the final league table and also to build up momentum heading into the play offs. There is also the question of local pride as, apart from the Eagles, the Aces are the only team who have a superior head-to-head record against the Wild in competitive meetings this season.
Widnes beat Altrincham in back to back friendly games back in August – 3-6 away and 4-1 at home – but have fared less well in the Laidler Conference.
They drew 3-3 in their first league meeting away at Sliver Blades Altrincham in mid-November and then narrowly beat them 4-2 in a less-than-comfortable win at Silver Blades Widnes a week later, although that result was only made certain with an empty net goal in the last minute after the Aces had pulled their netminder.
The most recent meeting in mid-January saw the Wild lose 6-3 away in Altrincham – which gives the Aces a one goal advantage over Widnes in the 3 games played between the two teams so far.
Looking ahead to the game on Sunday, Widnes Wild player coach Ollie Barron said:
“Altrincham next Sunday will be another test for the squad. These games are always high tempo games and it is one I am looking forward to. In terms of league position, in theory, we don’t have much to play for but I want the team playing hard in the remaining league games in order to take some momentum into the playoffs.”
The RTL sponsored Widnes Wild play Altrincham Aces this Sunday 19th March 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)
Photos from the Wild’s 4-2 win in November – by Geoff White (www.gw-images.com)
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