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Weekend Preview


Games between the Wild and the Dragons are always very passionate affairs. (Photo by Geoff White)

The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild have a local derby to look forward to as they host close rivals Deeside Dragons in the Moralee Division this Sunday 6th November at Planet Ice Widnes.


It should have been a double dose of local rivalry this weekend as the Wild were due to meet the Dragons in the M56 Cup away in North Wales on Saturday as well but with it being the 5th November and the Deeside Leisure Centre also staging a firework display that same night, the game has been postponed and will be rearranged for a later date.


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.


The two sides met for the first time in over 2½ years back in October in the opening game of the 3-way M56 Cup competition, which also involves Blackburn Hawks, and the Dragons came away from Planet Ice with a 4-6 victory.


Deeside currently sit second from bottom in the league table with just one win from their 5 games to date. They have played fewer games than all the other teams so far this campaign as their Queensferry home wasn’t ready to use at the start of the season after being used as an NHS treatment centre during the Covid Pandemic. The Dragons have been allowed to play away matches only while their ice rink was being made ready for use but have lost 4 of their 5 games on the road.


The Wild are in 5th position in the Moralee Division table with 4 wins from 9 starts following a 1-3 win away over Sheffield Scimitars last weekend.


Sunday’s game will have double significance, however, 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. More information can be found here: https://www.widneswild.co.uk/live


You can also follow the action via the Wild’s Twitter feed at Twitter.com/WildMatchNight



WILD JUNIOR ACADEMY


The Wild Academy Under 10 team host a 4-team “Cross Ice” tournament this Saturday 5th November at Planet Ice Widnes, starting at 4.15pm.


As well as the hosts, the tournament will feature teams from Manchester, Blackburn and Bradford and each team plays the other three in short-format games. No results or player stats are recorded from these games and the emphasis is put on developing playing skills such as positioning and passing rather than necessarily who wins.


The Academy Under 14 team are away to Blackburn the same day – face off 4.45pm - and the Under 12s are away to Blackburn on Sunday 6th November, face off 4.45pm.


Admission is free to all Academy home games at Planet Ice Widnes and spectators are encouraged come and cheer on the stars of the future.


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