Wild Up To Second After Back To Back Victories Over Blaze
Wild player coach Ollie Barron threatens the Coventry goal in the 5-2 home win over the Blaze on Sunday. (GW Images)
The RTL-sponsored Widnes Wild gave their Laidler Division title hopes a boost with back to back wins over Coventry Blaze at the weekend, winning 1-5 away on Saturday night and then 5-2 at home at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
The game on Saturday was a close fought encounter but the Wild made of the most of their chances in front of goal while Coventry didn’t.
After an edgy start, the Wild took the lead in the 10th minute with a short handed goal from Shaun Dippnall and extended their advantage with goals from Geoff Wigglesworth and Pavel Vales in the second period and Danny Bullock and Dan Bracegirdle in the third.
Coventry scored a consolation goal with 5 minutes left to play and the tensions that had been building up during the third period came to a head after that.
With just 1 minute and 11 seconds left on the clock, a fight broke out between several pairs of players. Wild’s Lee Kemp and Andrew Turner both picked up 2+2 minute penalties for fighting and Turner also received a 10 minute misconduct penalty – and their respective opponents on the Coventry team were both similarly punished.
The resulting 1-5 scoreline was a fair reflection of the match overall but both teams looked as if they still had plenty in reserve for the return fixture the next day.
The home game on Sunday was an equally tense affair and, while Widnes heavily out-shot the Blaze over the course of the match, the outcome was still far from certain until well into the third period.
Player Coach Ollie Barron opened the scoring for the Wild on 2 minutes and Geoff Wigglesworth doubled the advantage just 47 seconds later. Coventry pulled themselves back into the game with their first goal 5 minutes into the second period but the Wild’s two-goal cushion was restored within 65 seconds with a powerplay goal from Pavel Vales.
Shaun Dippnall edged the Wild 4-1 in front with a strike in the 35th minute but Coventry hit back again to leave the score standing at 4-2 at the end of the second period.
The Wild defended strongly in the third period, restricting the visitors to just 3 shots on Tom McDonald’s net, and the scoring for the evening was rounded off in the 45th minute with a powerplay goal from team captain Simon Offord.
The four points from the two wins over the weekend lift the Wild to second place in the league table, six points behind leaders Sutton Sting but firmly ensconced at the head of the chasing pack who are all vying for position ahead of the end of season play-offs in April.
The RTL-sponsored Widnes Wild are away to Blackburn Hawks next Sunday 25th February and their next home game is on Sunday 11th March when they play fellow title challengers Hull Jets at Planet Ice Widnes in a 5.30pm face off.
The home ice hockey action this Sunday 25th February is provided by the Widnes Wild women’s team who entertain the Kingston Diamonds in the Women’s Premier League at Planet Ice Widnes – face off 5.30pm. Following that, the Halton Huskies recreational team play the Sheffield Ice Tigers in a challenge match – face off 8.30pm.
The Widnes Wild women’s team lost 3-1 away to Kingston Diamonds in their Women’s Premier League match on Sunday.
The home team took the lead in the 5th minute and the score remained 1-0 for over 40 minutes until the Wild women equalised with a powerplay goal from Amanda Williams at 45.54.
A second goal for Kingston just 73 seconds later restored their lead and they added a third some 90 seconds after that to make sure of the points. The two teams meet again at Planet Ice Widnes this Sunday in the reverse fixture.
The Halton Huskies recreational team notched up a sensational 11-9 win in a 20-goal thriller against the Whitley Bay Sharks on Sunday evening.
Having trailed 2-5 at the end of the first period, they scored 5 goals to the Sharks’ 1 to lead 7-6 at the end of the second.
The Sharks tied the score just 18 seconds into the third period but 4 more goals from the Huskies and just 2 more for Whitley made the final score 11-9 to the Widnes-based team.
Saturday 17th February 2018 – Laidler Division
Coventry Blaze 1- Widnes Wild 5
Period Scores: 0-2, 0-2, 1-1
Shots on Goal: Coventry 31- Widnes 21 (9-4, 11-7, 11-10)
Penalties in Minutes: Coventry 22 – Widnes 32
Widnes Scoring: Pavel Vales & Shaun Dippnall both 1+1, Dan Bracegirdle, Danny Bullock, Geoff Wigglesworth all 1+0, Stuart Brittle 0+3, Mike Mawer, Simon Offord, Ollie Barron & Lee Kemp all 0+1
Match Officials: Richard Fraley – Referee, Lucy Kendall – Linesman, Lee Bentham – Linesman
Sunday 18th February 2018 – Laidler Division
Widnes Wild 5 – Coventry Blaze 2
Period Scores: 2-0, 2-2, 1-0
Shots on Goal: Widnes 67 – Coventry 20
Penalties In Minutes: Widnes 10 – Coventry 18
Widnes Scoring: Shaun Dippnall 1+1, Pavel Vales, Simon Offord, Geoff Wigglesworth & Ollie Barron all 1+0, Stuart Brittle & Nick Manning both 0+3, Mikey Gilbert 0+2
Match Officials: David Good – Referee, Joseph Baggaley – Linesman, Callum Neenan – Linesman
Report by Paul Breeze – www.icehockeyreview.co.uk
Photos by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com
The post Wild Up To Second After Back To Back Victories Over Blaze appeared first on Widnes Wild.