Wild Secure Laidler Title With Win Over Aces
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild secured their first ever league title after a 4-1 win over north-west rivals Altrincham Aces at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
The win sees them lead the Laidler Division table with 52 points with just two games left to play and they cannot now be overtaken by Telford Tigers who are confirmed as runners up.
The game on Sunday started badly for the Wild as Altrincham scored the first goal after just 41 seconds of the game and it took another 10 minutes before Widnes finally drew level with a goal from Czech import Michal Novak.
The score was still 1-1 at the first break and remained so until Chris Gee eventually fired the Wild into the lead just 4 seconds short of the halfway mark. A powerplay goal from Mikey Gilbert some 5 minutes later effectively ended the game as a contest but the seriously short-benched Aces battled on and gave a very good account of themselves despite their numerical inferiority. A second goal from Michal Novak with just 2 minutes left in the game rounded off the scoring for the evening and, as the buzzer sounded, the rink erupted in celebration.
Having finished runners up for the past three seasons, the winning of the long elusive Laidler Division title comes as a relief to players and fans alike and is a great achievement for Wild player coach Ollie Barron, who had never coached a team before joining Widnes three years ago.
After the game, Barron said:
“What a great night! Our hard work from late July when we held open trials, to selecting a squad to confirming our first league championship has paid off.”
“This was a true team effort, from coaching staff, to players, rink staff, volunteers and, of course, our great fans.”
“We will enjoy this moment, but still have 2 league games against Deeside to prepare for to gain momentum into the national final weekend in Coventry and then the Laidler playoff weekend in Widnes.”
The Wild are away to local rivals Deeside Dragons this Sunday 24th March in North Wales – 5.45pm face off – and then round off their regular Laidler Division season schedule with a home game against the Dragons on Sunday 31st March at Planet Ice Widnes – 5.30pm face off.
- Sunday 17th March 2019 – Laidler Division
- Widnes Wild 4 – Altrincham Aces 1
- Period Scores: 1-1, 2-0, 1-0
- Shots on Goal: Widnes 40 – Altrincham 19 (14-5, 16-8, 10-6)
- Penalties In Minutes: Widnes 20 – Altrincham 48
- Widnes Scoring: Michal Novak 2+1, Chris Gee & Mikey Gilbert 1+0, Shaun Dippnall 0+2, Danny Bullock, Scott Cooper & Lee Kemp all 0+1
- Match Officials: Juris Susters – Referee, Faye Andrews & William Fielden – Linesmen
- MVPs: Widnes – Daniel Fay / Altrincham – Bradley Chapman
- Report by Paul Breeze – www.icehockeyreview.co.uk
- Photos by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com