|Shaun Dipnall scores for Widnes Wild
(Photo by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk)
It would be Nottingham that would start the game on the front foot, gaining an early goal against the run of play. A quick shot beating Wild netminder Greg Ruxton on his glove side. The Wild however would respond quickly, sniper Geoff Wigglesworth finding room in front of the net to fire home and tie the game. Captain Shaun Dippnall would add a powerplay strike just before the period break to give the Halton side a narrow 2-1 advantage.
A penalty strewn 2nd period would see two major penalties given out. Tom Ratcliffe for the Wild would be on the wrong side of a high sticking major as well as an accidental high stick on Wild Player-Coach Scott Mckenzie seeing a Lions defenceman sent to the changing rooms for early showers. Nottingham tied the game at 2-2 just before a Geoff Wigglesworth strike made it 3-2. The Lions answered back almost straight away from a face off play, but again captain Dippnall would make it 4-3 just before the break.
Further penalties would offer opportunities for both teams but it was the Lions that took advantage of Wild mistakes. Two quick goals putting the home side on their heels trailing 5-4 with just minutes to go. Coach Mckenzie would call a time out with just over 2minutes remaining. A set play would find Kieran Strangeway open in the slot to fire home and tie the game, sending the home fans into rapture. Penalties again would see the game fizzle out with both team’s content to settle for a 5-5 draw.
As expected, a close game between two even sides that have had four great battles all season. Both coaches will be happy to have gained a point as the fans went home happy, having seen a fantastic game of hockey. The Lions could be a team that the Wild face in the playoffs, a game that is not to be missed if the scenario comes to fruition.
The Widnes Wild return to home action this Sunday as they face local rivals Deeside Dragons at Silver Blades Widnes. Face off is at the usual time of 17:30 with doors opening at 16:45. For tickets call box office on; 0151 420 7930, for more information email; firstname.lastname@example.org