Wild goal scorer #17 Andrew Hopkins in action
Sunday 25th September – Moralee Division
YKK Widnes Wild 1 – Whitley Warriors 8
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild suffered a 1-8 defeat to Whitley Warriors in their first home league game of the new NIHL season at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday
The Wild team had a number of key players missing – including German import forward Dani Haid, who was unable to play as a medical precaution after suffering a concussion - so this game against last season’s league runners up was always likely to be a bit of an uphill struggle.
After a fairly balanced start, the visitors took the lead on 8 minutes and then doubled the advantage 6 minutes later. Widnes gave a reasonably good showing but were unable to make any inroads through a stubborn Whitley defence and were outshot by 8 to 20 in the first period.
The score remained 0-2 at the first period break but Widnes came out with more determination for the second session. This was a closer period overall and the Wild managed to up the SOG tally to 12-21 but it was Whitley who made the next breakthrough with a goal on 28 minutes to make the score 0-3.
This seemed to fire up the Wild and they had their best spell of the game in the latter stages of the second period.
A goal finally came on 36 minutes off the stick of Andrew Hopkins - after some clever passing between Rhys Edwards and Joey Coulter had set him up in front of the net - and Widnes began to put some promising attacking plays together.
Whitley obviously became concerned at the prospect of a Wild comeback and tensions boiled over with a 4-player fight on 38 minutes after Rhys Edwards was cynically taken out while bearing down on goal. The period break came at just the wrong time for the Wild as they were building up a good head of steam at that point but that momentum was lost when the buzzer sounded.
The third period was nearly all Whitley as Widnes struggled to build on their second period improvement. Two goals for the visitors within 40 seconds of each other on 50 minutes put the game beyond the Wild’s reach, and three more unanswered goals in the latter stages probably made the game sound more one-sided than it actually was.
The Wild are next in action this Sunday 2nd October when they take on Solihull Barons at Planet Ice Widnes – 5.30pm face off.
For anybody who is not able to attend the game, the Wild’s broadcasting partners BASN are livestreaming all home games this season over the internet. More information about this can be found on the Live Stream Page of the Website.
WILD JUNIOR ACADEMY
The Wild Academy Under 16 team continued their winning start to the new season with a 3-14 win
away over Billingham Under 16s. They now have two wins from two starts, having beaten
Manchester Storm 15-3 last weekend.