WIDNES Wild had a mixed weekend losing 2-1 away to Sheffield Scimitars on Saturday and then bouncing back to beat Nottingham Lions 8-5 at home at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.

The game on Saturday in Sheffield saw Widnes go behind to a goal in the 13th minute and the deficit then doubled early in the second period.

While not necessarily playing badly – and having a reasonable amount of puck possession and shots on goal themselves - the Wild were clearly not firing on all cylinders and it took until the 49th minute for Latvian import Vlads Vulkanovs to fire in the one and only Widnes goal of the game.

The Wild had a much better start in the home game on Sunday and took the lead after just 2 minutes with a goal from Vlads Vulkanovs. Dani Haid doubled the advantage on 10 minutes but Nottingham pulled a goal back late in the period to leave the score at 2-1 at the first break.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Widnes continued the second period as they had played the first with plenty of puck possession and outshooting the visitors by a considerable margin. Matty Barlow fired home just two minutes into the period to make the score 3-1 but then, somewhat against the run of play, Nottingham hit two quick fire goals to dramatically equalise.

The Wild’s Nathan Britton edged Widnes back into the lead again shortly afterward but there was great controversy right at the end of the period as Nottingham fired the puck into the net just as the buzzer sounded.

After some deliberation, the match officials decided that the goal was valid and the score stood at 4-4 with one period left to play.

(Video evidence has since demonstrated that playing time had expired before the puck had crossed the line and that the goal should, therefore, not have counted. However, in all fairness, the referees did not have access to this facility during the game and had to make a real time decision based on what they had seen in front of them.)

Widnes scored again on 45 minutes through Vulkanovs and Nottingham countered once more two minutes later to level at 5-5. The Wild still had more of the play overall but were having trouble breaking through the stubborn Lions’ defence and it began to look if the game might be heading for sudden death overtime.

However, with just over two minutes left in regulation playing time, player coach Richard Haggar fired in an important goal to put Widnes back into the lead.

The Lions called a time out to discuss last ditch tactics and then removed their netminder in favour of an extra attacking player in an attempt to salvage something from the game.

That move backfired as Vulkanovs rounded off his hat-trick with a goal in the empty net to make the score 7-5.

Undaunted by the set back, the Lions tried the same tactic again once they had possession on the puck at the Wild end of the ice but the same outcome occurred as Tom Stubley fired home another Empty Net Goal, for a final score of Widnes 8 – Nottingham 5.

The weekend results overall see the Wild move up into 5th place in the Moralee Division table, where they are locked on 16 points along with 3rd place Solihull and 4th place Sheffield.

Richard Haggar – after his 1 goal and 4 assists over the two games at the weekend is now in 3rd place in the league scoring points standings while Vlads Vulkanovs is the top goals scorer in the division with 18 goals from 12 games.

The Wild are next in action this Sunday 30th January when they take on league leaders Solway Sharks at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off.