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Match Report: Barons 4 - Wild 3

Dani Haid (#44) scored twice for the Wild away at Solihull but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat (Photo by Keith & Jenny Davies)

Sunday 18th December – Moralee Division

Solihull Barons 4 – YKK Widnes Wild 3

The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild ended their calendar year on a frustrating note, narrowly losing out 4-3 away to Solihull Barons on Sunday evening.

The game away in the West Midlands saw a Wild debut for 16 year old netminder Gabriel Lingard who is a Bradford junior and has been playing for Hull Jets in the Laidler Division this season. Under EIHA rules players under 23 are allowed to “play up” for teams in higher divisions to gain extra experience and the Wild are always keen to help nurture young talent. Lingard dressed as back up to regular Widnes netminder Miles Finney but was not called upon to enter the fray.

Former Wild Academy junior player Joel Bark was also called into the side, making his 3rd appearance of the season. The 18 year old defenceman has also been playing Laidler Division hockey this season – with Sutton Sting. Kohen Taylor also made his third appearance of the season for the Wild meaning that along with Rhys Edwards and debutant Lingard, Widnes had three 16 year olds on their roster for this game.

This was a very entertaining match to watch with plenty of end-to-end action between two very closely matched teams. For the most part, it was typical “old time” hockey with lots of shots on goals at both ends, plenty of penalties being called and the result remaining in doubt until the very last seconds of the game.

The first period was played out goal-less, although both teams had chances to score, and the first breakthrough didn’t come until early in the second period.

The Barons eventually took the lead in the 23rd minute but Widnes levelled 9 minutes later with a powerplay strike from Dani Haid. The same player edged the Wild in front on 35 minutes on a delayed penalty goal but the hosts scored again within seconds of the restart to bring the score to 2-2.

This remarkable flurry of activity continued with another go-ahead goal for Widnes – from player coach Richard Haggar - on 37 minutes and then another Barons equaliser just 22 seconds later.

The period ended with yet another goal, this time to Solihull as they re-took the lead with a powerplay goal with just 54 seconds left on the clock while Calum Ruddick was sitting out a 2 minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

There was a bit of a scuffle after the period buzzer and this saw Widnes having to start the third period shorthanded with Joe Greaves sitting out 2 minutes for slashing and Mikey Gilbert 5 minutes for fighting.

The third period was, strangely, goal-less although Widnes threw all of their efforts into trying to force an equaliser. However, it was to no avail and Solihull picked a very important win.

The result sees Solihull leapfrog Widnes in the Moralee Division table, taking over 4th place with 19 points from 15 games, with the Wild dropping down to 5th with 17 points from 16 starts.

The Wild have a break from matches until the new year when they travel to face Solway Sharks on 7th January and then Nottingham away on 8th January. They are next at home on Sunday 15th January when they face Blackburn Hawks at Planet Ice Widnes – 5.30pm face off.


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