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Weekend Preview

The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild have two home games this weekend as they take on Deeside Dragons in the M56 Cup on Saturday and then Nottingham Lions in the league on Sunday at Planet Ice Widnes.

Fans will be especially looking forward to the local derby clash with the Dragons on Saturday as the two fierce rivals haven’t met in over 2 ½ years.

The Dragons' Queensferry home was taken over as an NHS treatment centre during the Coronavirus Pandemic and has only just recently opened up again as a leisure centre. The ice rink is not yet ready to stage matches so the Dragons are playing away games only for the time being. They played their first game last weekend and picked up a 4-5 overtime win over Sheffield Scimitars.

Because of the close proximity between the two clubs and the regular interchange of players over the years, games between the Wild and the Dragons are always very passionate affairs.

The current Widnes squad includes Chris Gee, Calum Ruddick, Bez Hughes and Jake Lowndes, who have all played at Deeside in the past, while the Dragons have former Wild players MJ Clancy, Phil Pearson, Matthew Wainwright and also ex-Riverside Raiders netminder Mike Rogers in their ranks.

Overall, Widnes have played Deeside Dragons 22 times (or, in fact, 26 if you include the 4 games against Dragons 2 development side, although that’s not really comparing apples to apples…) and, intriguingly, the Wild have won 11 games to Deeside’s 10. The only ever draw came in the 7-7 game at Widnes on the day that Deeside won the Laidler Division title in February 2016.

In that time, Widnes have scored 116 goals and conceded 101. The penalty count in games between the two teams is Wild 529 to Dragons 859, although that doesn’t count the 3-1 game that was abandoned in March 2016 nor the first ever Wild game away in North Wales in September 2013, which wasn’t recorded properly for some reason….

The last meeting between the two teams in March 2020 saw Deeside edge a 3-2 win in what was to be the last Laidler Division game played before the Covid lockdown.

On Sunday, the Nottingham Lions will be keen to avenge the 2-5 defeat inflicted on them by the Wild in the Lace City three weeks ago.

The Lions have just 1 win from 5 starts this season while Widnes are comfortably mid-table with 2 from 4.

Sunday’s game will have double significance as the first meeting home and away between all the teams in the league this season also counts towards the Moralee Cup qualifying table and the Wild will be keen to defend the trophy that they won last season.

As usual, after the game, two Wild players will be available to meet with supporters for photos and autographs. Please note that this is now taking place in a new location in the corner of the rink by the entrance to the changing rooms - and not down by the café as was the case in previous years.

For anybody who is not able to attend Sunday’s game, the Wild’s broadcasting partners BASN are livestreaming all home league games this season over the internet.

Unfortunately, Saturday’s M56 Cup game will NOT be livestreamed.

Online viewing tickets can be booked to watch the Nottingham game HERE

There are no Wild Junior Academy games this weekend


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