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Match Report: Wild 4 - Lions 1

Josh Reynolds (#23) attacks the Lions net in the Wild's 4-1 win over Nottingham (Photo by Geoff White)

Sunday 9th October 2022 – Moralee Division

YKK Widnes Wild 4 – Nottingham Lions 1

The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild beat Nottingham Lions 4-1 in an close-fought and entertaining Moralee Division match at Planet Ice Widnes on Saturday.

Following on from the previous evening’s gung ho Cup encounter with Deeside, this was a much more edgy and tactical affair.

It took until the 10th minute for the first goal to come and it went the Wild’s way with a strike from player coach Richard Haggar. Widnes marginally had the upper hand over the course of the first period, outshooting the visitors by 14 to 11, and the score remained 1-0 at the first period break.

The second period saw Nottingham up their game and they had more of the play. They outshot Widnes by 12 to 6 in the second period and it took another fine performance from Wild netminder Miles Finney to keep them at bay.

The Wild’s second goal eventually came on 27 minutes, with a rocket shot from Haggar from the edge of the blue zone straight from a face off but that was the only strike of the period and Widnes went into the second break with a narrow 2-0 lead.

Nottingham pulled a goal back just 62 seconds into the third period and briefly looked as if they might mount a late comeback. However, a short handed goal from Matty Barlow on 44 minutes restored the two goal cushion.

The score remained at a tantalisingly close 3-1 as the clock ticked down and, while Widnes had the upper hand – heavily outshooting the Lions by 20 to 7 over the course of the period - the visitors still looked dangerous coming forward knowing that one breakthrough could still change the complexion of the game.

With two minutes left to play, Nottingham removed their netminder in favour of an extra attacking player in the hope of forcing a late goal. The tactic backfired, however, as while they were pushing forward their net was left exposed and Rhys Edwards made sure of the win for the Wild with an Empty Net Goal with 93 seconds left on the clock.

The resulting 4-1 win secures an early season “double” for Widnes over Nottingham, following their 2-5 away win in the Lace City last month, and means they sit comfortably in mid-table in the Moralee Division.

The Wild now have two away games in a row. They are away to Billingham Stars next Sunday 16th October (5.30pm face off) and then make the trip north of the border to Dumfries to play league leaders and last season’s league champions Solway Sharks the following Saturday, 22nd October. They are next at home on Sunday 23rd October when they take on Billingham at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off.

For anybody who is not travelling to Billingham this Sunday, the Widnes Wild Ladies team play their first home league fixture of the season at home to Whitley Bay Beacons – 4.15 pm face off.

The Wild Junior Academy have two games at the weekend - both on Saturday 15th October. The Academy Under 12 team take on Kingston Under 12s away in Hull - 12.30 face off – while the Academy Under 18 team are at home to Sutton Under 18s at Planet Ice Widnes, 6.30 pm start.

Admission to all Academy home games at Planet Ice Widnes is free and spectators are encouraged to come along and cheer on the stars of the future.


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