The game is between Widnes Wild who compete in the Laidler Conference of the National Ice Hockey League and Widnes based Riverside Raiders who are a recreational team – albeit with some very good players of their own.
In order to help bridge the gap in standards between the two teams, it has been agreed that Widnes Wild’s top scorer this season so far – player coach and former Elite league player Scott McKenzie will not play but will run the Wild’s bench for the game and the Raiders team will also be boosted by 5 guest players.
Three of the 5 guest players have been announced so far with the other two names to follow in the next few days.
Those named to date are:
1) Former Widnes Wild netminder Nicole Jackson (in main photo). Nicole is a GB women’s international player and currently plays for the Bradford Bulldogs (men’s senior team) in the Laidler Conference. As was as having played previously for Widnes, she has also played – among others - for the Kingston Diamonds women’s team, Manchester Minotaurs and Newcastle Vipers, with whom she won the ENL North 2 title in the 2009/10 season.
2) 18 year old Mikey Gilbert who plays as a forward for the Altrincham Aces in the Laidler Conference. He has come up through the Manchester / Trafford junior development system and played for Manchester Minotaurs in NIHL North 1 last season. He has represented England and has scored 3 goals and 9 assists for the Aces so far this season.
3) Also turning out for the Riverside Raiders is Sarah Hutchinson who is another Team GB women’s international. She plays for Bradford Bulldogs and has previously played for Manchester Minotaurs and the Kingston Diamonds and Sheffield Shadows women’s teams.
Photo by Rob Hutchinson
For anybody who hasn’t been to an ice hockey match before, the charity game at the Silver Blades ice rink in Widnes on the day after Boxing Day would be a nice occasion for the whole family to go out and do something together and support a good cause at the same time.
The other two guest players will be announced here shortly and, in the meantime, you can find out more about the Widnes Wild ice hockey team at www.widnesicehockey.co.uk