Monday 22 September 2014

Laidler Match Report: Widnes Wild 3 - Coventry Blaze 4

Last season's third placed team,  Coventry Blaze , were Sunday night's visitors to the Silver Blades Arena. Widnes Wild encouraged by their victory over local rivals, Deeside Dragons, welcomed back Sam Dunford. Ged Ruxton was preferred in net for Widnes.

The game opened at a furious pace and in the 2nd minute Chris Preston took a 2 minute holding penalty. As Widnes returned to 5 skaters, they opened the scoring when Filip Supa lobbed the puck past Laverick after good work from Bobby Caunce

After two good saves from Laverick, Widnes went further ahead. A powerful shot from the blue line by Pavel Vales was half saved but still crept past Laverick. A third goal came at 7.55 when an angled shot from the right was half saved and Filip Supa managed to force the puck home. Coventry immediately called a time out and immediately the game developed into a more even contest. At 9.40 Coventry opened their account when a Phillip Pollock shot beat Ruxton. Widnes continued to press and only a series of good saves from Laverick prevented more Widnes goals.

The second period opened with a much more determined and aggressive Coventry bossing affairs. It came as no surprise when Dale White added a second goal for the visitors. His high angled shot flew past Ruxton into the far wall of the net Coventry junior Mulcahey was having a big influence on the game, opening up the Widnes defence with shrewd passes.

At 33.27, a number of players became embroiled in an incident after Greg Ruxton had made a diving save in front of his net. Frustrations boiled over and three players went to the penalty box for 2 minute roughing penalties. With a man advantage, Widnes enjoyed a brief spell of control but they ended the period defending hard against waves of Coventry pressure.

The third period was one of great frustration for the Wild. Within the first six minutes, an error bringing the puck out of defence saw possession turned over the giant figure of James Pease firing past Ruxton for the equaliser. Inside a minute Coventry were in the lead. After heavy Widnes pressure, two searching passes out of defence saw the puck with Dale White, who beat Greg Ruxton with an accurate shot.

Going behind spurred Widnes on. Laverick made a terrific stop at the foot of the right post, followed by another blistering effort which hit the bar. Dunford, Supa, Caunce and Pollitt all went close. Laverick made a terrific save to stop the puck flying into the top left corner from Bobby Caunce and Lee Pollitt hit the post after breaking away on the right. Sadly, pressure didn't produce the end result.

Lee Pollitt took the MVP for Wild after an all action display.

After such a good start in the game, the final result came as a huge disappointment to players and coaching staff.

The next home game with be against a much improved Sheffield Senators on Saturday October 11th - face off 19.00.

The new ' Chuck A Duck ' game organised in the 2nd interval by the newly formed Supporters Club - the Wild Ones - is proving to be a huge success and fundraiser. Dozens of youngsters and adults lined up along the plexiglass walls to try and throw their duck closest to match mascot Pukka the penguin !

by Dick Gillingham

Photo by Geoff White -