Send us news by text, start your message World News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Briggs’ arrival boosts Wild as healthy crowd witnesses encounter
3:06pm Wednesday 30th October 2013 in Sport
LEAGUE Ice hockey finally arrived in Widnes with a visit from North West rivals, Blackburn Eagles.
The home team were boosted by the signing of defenceman Chad Briggs, the former Swindon Wildcats and Blackburn Hawks player.
The game opened at a furious pace in the third minute when good work from Chris Preston and Troy Evans created an opening for new boy Briggs to fire home.
Wild forward Ken Armstrong raced the length of the ice to fire low between Saxton's legs to give Widnes a two goal lead.
The second period was most productive for Wild, producing three goals in the opening 12 minutes of the period.
The first came from import star Filip Supa, assisted by Ben Simister and Troy Evans. Ben Brown added another in the 28th minute from a Supa pass.
Perhaps the most spectacular came in the 32nd minute when Ken Armstrong set up big Tony Melbourne for a powerful shot, which was tipped in past Nick Saxton by Chris Preston.
After the scoring burst, Blackburn enjoyed some territorial advantage but Steve Gilmartin in the Widnes net made a series of timely saves, to keep them at bay.
The final period was in complete contrast to the previous two. Widnes seemed to lose their sense of purpose and it came as no surprise when, in the 44th minute, Blackburn's Steven Hetherington shot the puck into the net through a crowd of players. In an error strewn period, both sides struggled to keep control of the puck and Widnes were unable to use their experience and numerical bench strength.
Despite two valuable league points and moving a place up the league table, Wild's inability to better use home advantage frustrated Head Coach, Mark Gillingham, who said: 'We really struggled to get into a situation where we could play our own game at any point during the match.
“At times we looked a bit cocky, and we were taking penalties we wouldn't normally take for whatever reason, when really we should have treating our opponents in the same fashion we had treated all the other teams we'd played already this season.”
The team are on the road again next Sunday, when they pay a return visit to Coventry, for a 8.15 face off. They return to Widnes on Sunday November 10, when reigning champions Nottingham Lions are the visitors.
The club will be looking to further improve upon Sunday's encouraging attendance.
Comments are closed on this article.