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Match Report: Wild 5 - Barons 4

Widnes Wild’s Jonathan Williamson (#18) and netminder Miles Finney (#39) combine to thwart a Solihull attack in Saturday’s win (Photo by Steve Cunningham)

Saturday 25th March – Moralee Division

YKK Widnes Wild 5 – Solihull Barons 4

The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild rounded off their regular league schedule with a 5-4 win over Solihull Barons at Planet Ice Widnes on Saturday.

It was a much welcome victory after three straight defeats on the road and ideal preparation for the end of season play offs.

There has been very little to choose between the Barons and the Wild this season - with the two teams occupying 4th and 5th place in the league table respectively - and Saturday’s game was just as close. The opening 10 minutes were very tense, with both teams sounding each other out and it took until the 12th minute for the first breakthrough.

Widnes took the lead with a goal from Nathan Parkes-Britton but Solihull hit back with an equaliser just 12 seconds later and, just as it seemed as if the first period would finish level, they edged ahead with a powerplay goal with just 1 second remaining on the clock.

The second period was equally close and Widnes drew level on 26 minutes with a powerplay goal of their own from Dani Haid.

A goal from Mikey Gilbert fired them back into the lead at the halfway point of the game and then a strike on 36 minutes from Matty Barlow handed the Wild a 4-2 advantage heading into the second period break.

A goal from Bez Hughes just 20 seconds from the restart looked to have the game sewn up for Widnes but Solihull fought back and a goal just 4 minutes later narrowed the score to 5-3.

A further Barons goal on 52 minutes brought the deficit down to just one goal and a tense finale was in the offing.

Some staunch Widnes defending in the latter stages kept the Solihull attack at bay as they pushed forward in search of a late equaliser. The Barons removed their netminder for the last minute in favour of an extra attacking player but the Wild held on for the victory.

The result means that Widnes Wild finish the regular season in 5th place in the Moralee Division table with 16 wins and 2 Overtime Losses from their 32 games, giving them a total of 34 points.

Next weekend sees the quarter final of the Moralee Division Playoffs with the Wild playing Solihull Barons home and away. The top eight teams in the league table play quarter final ties over two legs with the pairings being decided by final league positions. The winners of the 4 quarter finals will qualify for the finals weekend, which is to be held at Altrincham over the weekend of 8th and 9th April.

The Wild travel to the West Midlands to face the Barons this Saturday 1st April – face off 5.30pm – and the return leg will be the next day, Sunday 2nd April, at Planet Ice Widnes with the later than usual face off time of 7.15pm.


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