Saturday 19th February – Moralee Division
Deeside Dragons 4 – YKK Widnes Wild 7
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild picked up a useful 4-7 victory in another stormy encounter away to local rival Deeside Dragons on Saturday evening.
These derby games are always keenly contested with plenty of enthusiasm and passion shown by both sides and this was no exception – with lots of end to end action to entertain the sizeable crowd.
Deeside took the lead on 7 minutes but Widnes hit back with two quick-fire goals - from Nathan Parkes - Briton and Joey Coulter – just 47 seconds apart on 10 minutes to lead 1-2 at the first period break.
While the first period had been pretty even in terms of puck possession and shots on goal (13–13), the Dragons upped their game in the second period and noticeably had more of the play. They outshot the Wild by 18 to 9 during this period and their efforts were duly rewarded.
The hosts equalised with a powerplay goal on 22 minutes and then went back into the lead with a shorthanded goal on 32 minutes. Widnes equalised with a strike from Matty Barlow 45 seconds later but the Dragons scored again on 36 minutes to take a 4-3 lead into the dressing room at the second break.
Whatever Widnes player coach Joey Coulter said during the interval must have had an effect as the Wild were much the better team in the third period. They outshot the Dragons for the first time in the game (16 to 14) and scored an equalising goal just 63 seconds from the restart with a shorthanded strike from Dani Haid.
A delayed penalty goal followed from Joey Coulter 2 minutes later to edge Widnes back in front 4-5 and, with 17 minutes left to play, the game was on a veritable knife edge.
The clock ticked down and with 2 minutes left to play, the Dragons removed their netminder in favour of an extra attacker in an attempt to snatch a late equaliser and have the chance of salvaging something from the game.
The move backfired, however, as Rhys Edwards fired the puck into the empty net to extend the Wild lead to 4-6. Having been undone once, the Dragons, somewhat bravely, tried the same tactic again in the final minute – and the same thing happened again with another Empty Net Goal from Rhys Edwards to round off the scoring at 4-7.
The result means that honours are even between the two local rivals in meetings this season so far with Widnes holding sway with 2 league wins to 1 and Deeside enjoying a 1 to 0 advantage in the M56 Cup challenge matches.
The two sides will meet again this Sunday 26th February for their 4th and final Moralee Division encounter of the season at Planet Ice Widnes – 5.30pm face off.