Sunday 19th March – Moralee Division
Blackburn Hawks 6 – YKK Widnes Wild 3
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild slumped to a frustrating 6-3 away defeat at the hands of north west rivals Blackburn Hawks on Sunday.
Games against the Hawks are always passionately contested affairs and this was no exception with plenty of end to end action and puck possession and shots on goal fairly even throughout the game
After a tense opening phase, Blackburn took the lead with a powerplay goal in the 8th minute but Widnes equalised 10 minutes later with a goal from Andrew Hopkins and the score remained 1-1 at the first break
There was a bit of fracas with 34 seconds left in the first period involving a number of players from each side. This ultimately saw the Wild’s Rhys Edwards and Hawks’ Sam Warnock ejected from the game and, among others, Joe Greaves picking up 2+2+2 penalty minutes for his involvement.
The second period was just as close and saw plenty of chances for both teams, however it was the Wild who took the lead on 32 minutes with a goal from Mikey Gilbert.
The lead only lasted 4 minutes as Blackburn equalised with another powerplay goal and the score remained finely balanced at 2-2 with one period left to play.
Everything went wrong for Widnes in the 3rd period and a disastrous 5 minute spell saw their chances of winning the game slip from their grasp.
The Hawks retook the lead with a goal just 83 seconds from the restart and then doubled the advantage two minutes after that. A 5th goal came on 47 minutes leaving the Wild with a mountain to climb in the last 12 minutes.
As the clock ticked down, Widnes put mounting pressure on the Blackburn goal and this eventually paid off with a Dani Haid strike with 90 seconds left to play.
With the score now standing at a tantalisingly close 5-3, the Wild removed netminder Miles Finney in favour of an extra attacker in the hope of forcing another goal but the tactic backfired and Blackburn scored in the empty net to make sure of the win.
The Wild have one more regular season game left – at home to Solihull Barons on Saturday 25th March – 7pm face off. It will be a special Halton Haven night, in aid of the Runcorn based hospice, which is the Wild’s chosen charity this season.