The game at Sheffield on Saturday saw a Widnes senior debut handed to 16 year old netminder Callum Preston, who dressed as back up to Miles Finney.
At the tender age of just 16 years and 79 days, Preston becomes the youngest player ever to ice for Widnes in an NIHL game, beating previous record holder Rhys Edwards – who made his Wild debut at the start of the season - by 20 days. Callum is the son of former Wild forward Chris Preston and previously played junior hockey with Blackburn Hawks and Bradford Bulldogs before signing for the Bulldogs Laidler Division team this season.
Under English Ice Hockey Association rules, players under the age of 23 are allowed to take the opportunity to “play up” for a higher division team than the one they are formally signed for in order to gain more experience, and this was a chance for Callum to have his first involvement at Moralee Division level.
His father, Chris, played in the Wild’s first ever game back in 2013 and remained with the club for 4 seasons, making over 100 appearances. Callum’s first stint in a Widnes shirt on Saturday makes the Prestons the first family to have had two generations play senior competitive ice hockey for Widnes.