WIDNES Wild missed out on the opportunity to secure top spot in the Midlands Cup Group following a 2-7 home defeat at the hands of Solihull Barons at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.

A win for the Wild would have seen them finish top of the group - with the benefit of an easier draw in the semi-finals of the overall Moralee Division cup competition but, with a game still in hand, the Barons will be able to overtake them if they win their last group game against Blackburn Hawks.

As it was Halloween night, there was a party atmosphere around the rink with prizes for the best costumes provided by team apparel sponsors Cross Check Clothing – but very little of the surrounding good cheer found its way onto the ice.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Solihull opened the scoring 4 minutes into the game but Widnes equalised with a goal from Latvian forward Vlads Vulkanovs midway through the period and the score remained 1-1 at the first break.

This was quite an even contest up to now and the next breakthrough didn’t come up until the 26th minute while the Wild were a man short due to a tripping call – their only penalty of the whole game.

Solihull scored on the resulting powerplay and then went further ahead on 34 minutes to lead 1-3 after two periods.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Any hopes that the Wild had of salvaging anything from the game were dashed when Solihull scored their 4th goal 5 minutes into the period – and then fired in 3 more unanswered strikes to build up a commanding 1-7 lead by the 53rd minute.

A second Widnes goal did eventually come from the stick of Vulcanovs on 55 minutes on a boarding powerplay but by then it too late to inspire much of a fightback and the game finished 2-7 to Solihull.

There were a few scuffles that broke out on the ice after the final buzzer as tensions that had built up between the players over the course of the game began to boil over - and the teams were despatched to the dressing rooms before the MVP awards were announced to prevent any serious escalation.

Once order had been restored, the Post Match presentations went to Tom Stubley for Widnes and netminder Sam Hewitt for Solihull.

Following this result, Solihull move up into second place in the Cup Group table – 2 points behind Widnes but with a game in hand. The Wild are already confirmed a place in the semi finals - which will be played against the top two finishing teams in the NIHL North Cup Group - but the Barons, if they don’t win their last group game next Sunday, could still be overtaken by Sheffield Scimitars who also have a game left to play against the Blackburn Hawks.

In terms of the scoring standings for the Midlands Cup Group, the Wild’s Vlads Vulcanovs is currently top with 11 goals and 8 assists from the 6 games all together. Richard Haggar is second with 6+9 and Kieran Beach is third with 5+7, level with Solihull’s Thomas Soar.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

The Wild are next in action this Sunday 7th November when they travel away to take on the Whitley Warriors in the Moralee Division – 5pm face off.

They are next at home the following Sunday 14th November when they entertain Billingham Stars at Planet Ice Widnes.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Saturday 30th October 2021 – Women’s Premier League

Slough Sirens 10 – Widnes Wild Women’s Team 4

The Widnes Wild women’s team slumped to a 10-4 defeat away to Slough Sirens in the Women’s Premier League on Saturday.

With a new look team from the side that won the Division 1 North title last season, the Wild women travelled to Berkshire with several experienced players missing but gave league debuts to Daisy Winstanley and Natalie Buckles.

Slough took the lead in the 8th minute but Widnes equalised on 13 with a goal from Katy Fairclough.

Two more goals for the Sirens – including one with just 40 seconds to go in the period - saw them leading 3-1 at the first break.

Slough scored twice more to give themselves a 5-1 lead before Fairclough once again found the net for Widnes but two more home goals late in the period already looked to have pretty much settled the game in Slough’s favour.

However, a goal just two minutes from the restart from Charlotte Cramp – her first ever league goal – gave the Wild women some hope and she repeated the feat in the 55th minute to narrow the score to 7-4.

Three late goals from Slough gave the score an undeservedly one-sided feel but the Wild women gave a good account of themselves overall and will be pleased with an improved “shots on goal” tally of 37 for the match.

The Wild women have two more away games – at Sheffield this Saturday 6th November and Nottingham on 14th November – before they play their first home of the new campaign on Sunday 21st November when they take on the Nottingham Vipers at Planet Ice Widnes – 4.15pm face off.

Saturday 30th October 2021:

Nottingham U18s 5 – Wild Academy U18s 6

The Wild Academy Under 18 team consolidated their 3rd place position in the league table with a well-fought 5-6 win away over Nottingham U18s at the National Ice Centre on Saturday.

Nottingham scored first with just 47 seconds gone in the game and went on to outshoot the Wild by 24 to 6 in the first period. However Calam Barber put in an impressive display in the Widnes net and the score remained 1-0 at the first break.

Ben McLellan equalised for the Wild just 46 seconds into the second period and a goal from Cody Ogden – who was making his U18s debut and playing up a level from his normal age group – three minutes later put Widnes into the lead.

Two goals for Nottingham later in the period left the score standing at 3-2 to the hosts at the second period break with plenty still left to play for.

Nottingham edged further ahead with a goal on 44 minutes but Widnes fought back and two goals within 35 seconds of each other – from Liam Yarwood and Rory Sillery - put them back on level terms

The Wild took the lead again with a second goal of the night on 54 minutes from Sillery, only to see that cancelled out by another Nottingham strike two minutes later.

With three minutes left to play, and the teams locked together at 5-5, the tension around the rink was unbearable and then with just 32 seconds left on the clock, Liam Yarwood slotted in his second goal of the game to retake the lead for Widnes.

Nottingham removed their netminder in favour of an extra attacker for the remaining 30 seconds but it was to no avail and the Wild youngsters held out for the win.

Widnes U18s remain in third place in the league table with 6 points from their 5 games to date. They are next in action this Saturday 6th November when they take on Nottingham U18s at Planet Ice Widnes – 5pm face off.