FOLLOWING a rare weekend off, Widnes Wild are back in Laidler Division action with a double header over the coming weekend.

The Wild travel to Bradford Bulldogs on Saturday before returning to Planet Ice Widnes to face neighbours Altrincham Aces on Sunday.

Having mainly been in Midlands Cup action so far this campaign, Widnes have some catching up to do if they are to defend the title they won last season.

They have six games in hand on Saturday’s opponents, who have made a flying start having won seven of their nine games so far to sit joint-top of the table alongside Hull Jets.

Face off for the clash with Altrincham Aces, who sit one point ahead of the Wild having played four games more, on Sunday is at 5.30pm, with doors opening at 4.45pm.

With the first team not in action, the Widnes Wild academy teams took centre stage at the weekend.

Unfortunately, games for the under 11s and under 18s sides both ended in defeat to Bradford and Sheffield Steel City respectively.

Some comfort from the older age group’s 14-3 defeat to highly experienced opposition came in the shape of captain Sam Anderson, who scored a hat-trick to maintain his record as the division’s leading goalscorer – his tally now stands at 16 goals and four assists.

The under 11s lost 8-2 but scored their first ever goals as a team, with team captain Cai Vernett-Showers getting the honour of netting their maiden strike while Evan Walker – an under 9s player who was playing a level up and on full-sized ice for only the second time – scored their other goal.

Meanwhile, ice hockey fans in Widnes can look forward to some higher-level action coming to Planet Ice next month.

On Sunday, November 10, Planet Ice will play host to Leeds Chiefs’ home game against Swindon Wildcats in the National Division – one tier below English ice hockey’s top flight.

The Chiefs are playing on the road due to construction work at their home rink and will bring higher-league ice hockey to Widnes for the first time since 2017, when Manchester Phoenix played at Planet Ice.

Face off is at 5.30pm.