Wild Ladies summer signing Lise Gillen (#55) receives the MVP award against Whitley from match volunteer Rebecca Clayton (Photo by Paul Breeze)
Sunday 16th October 2022 - WNIHL Div 2N
Widnes Wild Ladies 9 – Whitley Bay Beacons 0
The Widnes Wild Ladies team put in superb performance in their first home game of the new WNIHL Division 2 North season beating last season’s league champions Whitley Bay Beacons 9-0 at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
Following a difficult year in the Women’s Premier League last season - and with competitive ice hockey having been suspended before that due to the Covid pandemic - this was, in fact, their first women’s league win since March 2020 and their first shut-out since a 0-2 win away in Nottingham back in December 2017, so there was a lot to be pleased about.
The game saw home debuts for summer signings Lise Gillen, Rachel Pearce and Victoria Connelly as well as the first senior appearance for 17 year old netminder Ellie Green, who played last season for the Wild Academy Under 18 team.
Widnes opened the scoring with just 79 seconds gone on the clock with a well taken goal from team captain and Belgian international Leen de Decker and the lead was doubled on 7 minutes with a strike from Katie Fairclough.
The Whitley team had travelled with a short bench while the Wild women had a full playing roster to ice so this game was pretty one way traffic from the off. Widnes outshot the visitors by 34 to 2 in the first period and were it not for the efforts of Elite League netminder Jessica Kinghorn in the Beacons’ net, the game would probably have been a complete rout.
As it was, de Decker made it 3-0 to Widnes with 3 minutes left in the first period and the score remained the same at the first break.
Three more goals followed in the opening stages of the second period – from de Decker, Preston Gennoe and Danielle Skilander – and Widnes looked comfortably in control. At the mid-point of the game, Ellie Green came on to take over in goal from Stephanie Drinkwater and, with the game already as good as won, the challenge was now to try and protect a much-coveted shut-out.
A goal for Ellen Tyrer with just 19 seconds to go in the period further extended the Widnes lead and the score stood at 7-0 at the second break.
The third period was pretty much all Widnes again as they outshot Whitley by 30 to 4. Two well taken goals by Katie Fairclough gave her a hat-trick for the night and rounded off the scoring for the game.
The Kate Luard Memorial MVP awards – sponsored by Poet-in-Residence Lucy London – were presented by match timekeeper Rebecca Clayton and went to Rebecca Boardman for Whitley and Lise Gillen for Widnes.
The Wild Ladies team are next in action on Sunday 30th October when they take on Sheffield at Planet Ice Widnes, 4.15pm face off.