WIDNES Wild rounded off their most successful season to date by winning the Laidler Division Play Off title for the third time in a row with a 6-3 win over Hull Jets at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday, writes Paul Breeze.

The play off weekend was staged at the Planet Ice rink in Widnes for the second year running and involved the top four highest finishing teams in the league at the end of the regular season - with two semi finals on Saturday and the final on Sunday.

The first semi final saw Widnes beat Bradford Bulldogs in a high-octane encounter which, despite being very close for much of the game, eventually finished 9-3.

In the final on Sunday between Widnes and Hull, Wild player coach Ollie Barron helped settle any early nerves by firing the Wild into the lead after just 5 minutes of play.

A second goal followed from Danny Bullock with just 60 seconds left in the period and the Wild took a 2-0 lead into the first break. Widnes scored three more goals – from Tom Jackson, Jakub Hajek and Ross Jordan - to build up a healthy 5-0 lead before Hull finally managed to find the back of the net in the 37th minute. The Humbersiders noticeably upped their game after this breakthrough and in a nerve-jangling finale they laid siege to the Widnes goal, with netminder Matt Croyle and the dogged Wild defence performing wonders to keep the puck out of the net.

The Jets removed their netminder for the last 60 seconds, but the Wild’s Jakub Hajek broke out of defence and skated the length of the ice to fire in an empty net goal, which finally put the result beyond all doubt.

The Wild’s third play off win in a row, added to this season’s Laidler Division championship title, represents an impressive haul of trophies from player coach Ollie Barron’s three seasons in charge at the club – even more so as he had no coaching experience before taking over the reins at Widnes in the summer of 2016.

The Wild’s NIHL season may have finished but there is still lots of entertaining ice hockey going on at Planet Ice Widnes over the summer months.

The Wild women’s team play their next Women’s Premier League game this Sunday 28th April when they take on the Hull-based Kingston Diamonds. The face-off time for that game is slightly later than usual – at 6pm instead of the normal 5.30.

The day before - on Saturday 27th April - the Wild Academy Under 15 team make the short journey to Deeside to play the last game of their first ever season of league ice hockey with a game against the Dragons Under 15s. Face off time for that game is 4.45pm.

Also on Saturday the Wild Academy Under 9 team travel to Billingham for a 4-team “Cross Ice” tournament which also features teams from Sheffield and Manchester Storm – start time 5.30pm.

The same day the Riverside Raiders travel to Blackburn to take on the Wyre Seagulls in their next Summer Classic Cup match - face off 6pm. The Raiders first home game of the season is on Sunday 26th May when they take on the Trafford Thunder in a charity game in aid of the Christie hospital charitable fund at Planet Ice Widnes. Admission for that game is free but there will be lots of fundraising going on during the afternoon. Face off is at 4.30pm.