Wednesday 28 October 2015

Laidler Report: Nottingham Lions 1 - Widnes Wild 4

The Widnes Wild made the trip across country to Nottingham on Sunday night to face a confident Nottingham Lions side in another closely fought battle.

Wild arrived in Nottinghamshire minus Ben Brown, Chris Gee, Calum Ruddick, Pavel Vales, Tom McDonald and would go on to lose Michal Fico through injury during the 3rd period. A short bench with just 12 players showed great determination and heart to beat the league leaders on their own territory.

The first period was as cagey as the previous week with both teams trying to get a foothold on the game, but it was the Wild who broke the deadlock with a Geoff Wigglesworth strike from just inside the blue line, squeaking through the Nottingham netminder’s arm and into the back of the net. Wild would go on to end the period maintaining their 1-0 lead.

It was clear to see that the coaching staff had their men organised and prepared as during the second period it was the Wild who took control. An end to end skate from Scott Mckenzie, with Chris Preston and Michal Fico creating diversions ended up in Mckenzie finding the back of the net with a quick shot past the glove of the Lions netminder making it 2-0 to the delight of the travelling fans. A Lions penalty gave Widnes a chance to stamp further authority in the game and they just did that. A deadly powerplay saw Dippnall find Mckenzie who quickly got the puck to Wigglesworth and with no hesitation, the Wild #12 shot the puck into the top right hand corner of the net which saw the visitors head into the break with a comfortable and deserved 3-0 lead.

A penalty strewn 3rd period saw the Wild score a further powerplay goal from Captain Shaun Dippnall. With just over a minute to go Nottingham managed to finish off a scramble in front of Wild goalie Greg Ruxton giving them a consolation goal. The game finished 4-1 to the visiting Widnes Wild, a much deserved payback and victory from the loss to the Lions the previous Sunday. Wild Head Coach Scott Mckenzie had this to say about his teams terrific performance on Sunday night;

‘What a huge lift this will give my guys. To turn up in a tough building like this against a good side that took 2 points off us last week and play such a disciplined game all over the ice is very pleasing.’

‘I really cannot fault the guys tonight. They gave everything and showed so much character with such a short bench. A mention must go to our goalie Greg Ruxton who faced a lot of shots and was solid all night. I’m a really proud coach tonight and I think this could be a game that we look back on at the end of the season as a turning point for us.’