Sunday 27th November – Moralee Division
YKK Widnes Wild 5 – Billingham Stars 2
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild finally overcome the early season hoodoo that had already brought them two defeats at the hands of Billingham - and they managed to pick up a win at the third time of asking with a 5-2 victory at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
The Stars actually took the lead in the 2nd minute of the game but Widnes equalised on 10 minutes with a powerplay goal from player coach Richard Haggar. The game was incredibly close in its early stages – as you would expect from a “4th versus 3rd” encounter - and the score remained 1-1 at the first period break.
Billingham took the lead again just 90 seconds into the second period but the scores were levelled 3 minutes later with a Wild goal from Bez Hughes. Both teams had plenty of chances in a highly entertaining display of end to end hockey but neither could make any further breakthrough and the game was left finely poised at 2-2 with one period left to play.
The Wild finally got the upper hand in the 3rd period, increasing their puck possession and outshooting the visitors by almost 2 to 1. Their efforts were rewarded with a go-ahead goal on 47 minutes from Hughes, again, and then a further strike from Nathan Parkes-Britton to extend the lead to 4-2 with 5 minutes left to play.
In a desperate attempt to salvage something from the game, Billingham withdrew their netminder for the last 90 seconds in favour of an extra attacker but the tactic backfired as Bez Hughes rounded off his hat-trick for the evening with an Empty Net Goal with just 6 seconds left on the clock.
The win sees Widnes close the gap between them in 4th place and Billingham in 3rd place in the Moralee Division table to just 4 points, with the Wild having 2 games in hand.
They are next in action on Sunday 4th December when they take on last season’s champions Solway Sharks at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off.
During the interval, spectators were treated to a demonstration of figure skating by young local skaters who will be performing in the Planet Ice Christmas show “A Christmas Carol”. The show is on Monday 12th December at the Widnes rink and tickets can be booked in advance from https://planet-ice.co.uk/christmas/.