Sunday 20th November 2022 – Moralee Division
YKK Widnes Wild 5 – Sheffield Scimitars 3
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild extended their recent winning run to 4 matches with a 5-3 victory over Sheffield Scimitars at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
As with the away game earlier in the season, this was a very closely fought encounter, with the lead changing hands several times, and the result remained in doubt until the very last seconds.
The game was so close, in fact - with both teams closing the other down - that the first period was played out goal-less and the shots on goal tally was a mere 12 to 9 in Sheffield’s favour.
It took until the 27th minute for the deadlock to be broken and, when it finally came, it sparked off a flurry of activity.
The first goal went to Widnes – off the stick of Wild player coach Richard Haggar – making the most of a 5 on 4 powerplay for tripping. The lead lasted only 44 seconds, however, as Sheffield equalised almost immediately.
The visitors edged into the lead on 30 minutes but were pegged back again by an equaliser from Adam Jasecko just 40 seconds later.
The Wild were visibly on top for the rest of the second period and outshot the Scimitars by 18 to 9 over the 20 minutes. Their offensive pressure was eventually rewarded with a goal from Rhys Edwards on 39 minutes – a delayed penalty strike on a Sheffield tripping call – and that took the score to 3-2 at the second break.
Two more goals for Widnes early in the third period – from Joe Greaves on 46 minutes and Bez Hughes 60 seconds later - looked to have the game done and dusted but Sheffield upped their game and the Wild started to get into penalty trouble as they battled to keep the Scimitars attack at bay.
Sheffield scored a powerplay goal with 7 minutes left to play to bring the score to 5-3 and continued to pile on the pressure. A big fight broke out on 56 minutes after a hefty challenge in front of the Sheffield goal and this resulted in Rhys Edwards and Bez Hughes both getting 5 minute major penalties for fighting along with their two Scimitars counterparts and taking no further part in the game.
Just to add to the end of game drama, the Wild’s Joe Greaves picked up 2 minutes for slashing plus 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct with just over 2 minutes left to go, meaning that Widnes would have to play with a man short for the remaining time.
However the hosts held - despite – being narrowly outshot by 13 to 11 over the period – to clinch an all-important 5-3 victory.
The win sees Widnes leapfrog Solihull Barons into 4th place in the Moralee Division table as the Barons’ game away to Deeside was postponed due the North Wales rink not being ready.
The Wild have two games next weekend as they travel to East Lancashire to take on Blackburn Hawks in the M56 Cup on Saturday 26th November – 6pm face off - and are then at home to Billingham Stars in the league on Sunday at Planet Ice Widnes.