Wild Stay Top After Win Over Aces
The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild remain top of the Laidler Division table following a somewhat bruising 6-1 win over north west rivals Altrincham Aces at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
Games between these two sides are always very keenly contested and passionate affairs but this one seemed to be over niggly with a high number of penalties being handed out to both teams.
The opening phase was very even – with chances for both teams – but it was the Wild who took the lead after 8 minutes with a goal from Chris Gee.
An unfortunate incident occurred on 13 minutes which seemed to set the tone of the rest of the game. Wild playmaker Stuart Brittle went down under a hard challenge and the ensuing melee saw 47 minutes of penalties being given out in one go.
The main Aces player involved was expelled from the game for a check to the head plus fighting and Widnes player coach Ollie Barron was handed a 2+2 for fighting and 2+10 for instigation, which kept him of the game until half-way through the second period. Shortly afterwards, Brittle had to leave the ice and took no further part in the game.
In the resulting powerplay, the Wild’s Danny Bullock put the home side two goals ahead and that remained the score at the end of the first period.
The second period was also littered with minor skirmishes and unnecessary bickering at every call. Three more goals for the Wild – a second from Gee, a highly popular strike from Ken Armstrong and a first of the night for Ollie Barron – gave Widnes a 5-0 lead after two periods.
The third period was much less fraught and played out with fewer incidents.
Bez Hughes fired the Wild 6-0 ahead and the game looked pretty much over – the only question remaining was whether the Wild defence could keep the Altrincham attack at bay and help netminder Matt Croyle to a shut out.
To their credit, the Aces upped their game in the final period and finally managed to match the Wild shot for shot. They were rewarded with a consolation goal in the 55th minute.
After the game, Wild player coach Ollie Barron said:
“A hard fought victory. We all know that the Wild – Aces games are played at a fast physical pace, and that’s exactly what this game was.”
“We worked hard all over the ice for each other, playing a great team game, with hunger and energy. Our goal scoring was spread over the lines, and Matt Croyle played another great game.”
“A special mention must go to King Ken (Ken Armstrong) on a great performance, picking up a goal and two assists with his man of the match performance.”
The Wild are top of the Laidler Division table with 18 points from their 11 games to date. Hull Jets are second with 17 points from 12 games.
The Wild are next in action this Sunday 11th November when they take on Coventry NIHL Blaze at Planet Ice Widnes. As it is Remembrance Sunday and the centenary of the Armistice, special commemorations are being planned as part of the evening’s programme.
The Widnes Wild women’s team are away to the Kingston Diamonds in the EIHA Women’s Premier League this Sunday 11th November in a 12.45 face off game at Hull Arena. The Diamonds have just one win from their 4 league games this season so far so it will be a good opportunity for the Wild women to get their first points on the board.
The Wild women have their first home game of the season on Sunday 9th December when they entertain the Whitley Bay Squaws at Planet Ice Widnes.
The Wild Academy Under 13 team have their first ever competitive home game this Saturday 10th November when they play the Blackburn Under 13 team at Planet Ice Widnes.
The Wild U13s have one win and one defeat from their two games so far in this their debut season but will have a tough task ahead of them on Saturday as the Blackburn team is full of players who have already been playing competitive hockey together for several seasons.
The game faces off at 6.50pm and admission is free.
Sunday 4th November 2018 – Laidler Division
Widnes Wild 6 – Altrincham Aces 1
Period Scores: 2-0, 3-0, 1-1
Shots on Goal: Widnes 46 – Altrincham 22 (19-3, 16-8, 11-11)
Penalties In Minutes: Widnes 58 – Altrincham 47
Widnes Scoring: Chris Gee 2+0, Ken Armstrong & Danny Bullock 1+2, Ollie Barron 1+0, Bez Hughes 1+0, Simon Offord & Mike Mawer 0+2, Ross Jordan & Daniel Fay both 0+1
Match Officials: Oliver Trusswell – Referee, Faye Andrews – Linesman, Callum Neenan – Linesman
MVPs: Widnes: Ken Armstrong / Aces: Jake Nurse
Match report by Paul Breeze – www.icehockeyreview.co.uk
Photos by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com