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Match Report: Dragons 5 - Wild 2

New Player Coach Joey Coulter’s Wild side lost 5-2 to local rivals Deeside on Sunday (Photo by Geoff White)

Sunday 5th February 2023 – Moralee Division

Deeside Dragons 5 – YKK Widnes Wild 2

The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild lost out 5-2 in a closely fought, yet rather niggly, M56 derby away to fierce rivals Deeside Dragons on Sunday.

This was the Wild’s first visit to the North Wales rink for almost 3 years due to the Covid lockdowns and subsequent delays in refurbishing the venue, so this game had been highly anticipated by both camps and was watched by a packed crowd.

Deeside took an early lead after just 43 seconds but then the game settled down with fairly equal spells of puck possession and shots on goal for both sides. There were no more goals in the first period and the score remained 1-0 at the first break.

The various tensions that had started to simmer between the teams in the first period began to spill over during the second and the period was littered with penalties for both sides.

A brawl broke out involving several players on 29 minutes and this saw the Wild’s Joe Greaves, Jonho Williamson and captain Tom Jackson all banished to the box along with their Deeside counterparts, with one Dragon being thrown out of the game all together.

The immediate aftermath of this fracas saw the Wild with a man advantage on the ice and they made the most of this to fire in two powerplay goals within 60 seconds of each other – the first coming from former Deeside player Callum Ruddick and the second from Jacob Corson-Heron. This flurry of activity put the Wild briefly in the lead but Deeside hit back 5 minutes later and the score stood at a finely balanced 2-2 after two periods of play.

The third period saw chances at both ends but it was the hosts who were able to make the most of their goal-scoring opportunities.

The Dragons edged back into the lead just 2 minutes into the period and then pulled further ahead on 48 minutes. The score remained 4-2 to Deeside as the clock ticked down and, with two minutes left to play, the Wild removed netminder Miles Finney in favour of an extra attacker in an attempt to salvage something from the game. The strategy failed to pay off, unfortunately, and the Dragons scored an Empty Net Goal to secure a 5-2 victory.

Widnes remain in 5th place in the Moralee Division table after Sunday’s defeat with 22 points from 21 games and miss out on the opportunity to make up ground on 4th place Solihull Barons who lost away to high flying Whitley Warriors.

The battle for mid-table positions was made more interesting with 6th place Blackburn Hawks picking up 3 points over the weekend for an away win and an overtime loss to move to within 3 points of the Wild in the table, albeit having played two games more. Deeside are in 7th place with 17 points from 18 games.

The Wild are next in action this Sunday 12th February when they take on league leaders Solway Sharks at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off.

They were due to play Solihull Barons on the Saturday but that game has been postponed because the Widnes venue is hosting a GB international game that evening instead.

The Great Britain Under 16 girls team take on their counterparts from Norway in a 3 game series with matches being played on Thursday 9th February (face off 1pm), Friday 10th February (1pm) and Saturday 11th February (7pm). Admission for spectators is free.


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