A bumper crowd of over 450 people would visit Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday evening to watch their Widnes Wild face the Blackburn Eagles. An Eagles side currently sat in fourth place in the Laidler Conference travelled to Widnes with a full squad looking to cause an upset.
Blackburn play a physical game and it would pay off for them quickly in the first period. A quick shot just over the blue line beating Wild netminder Greg Ruxton to put the Eagles 1-0 up. Wild would answer back almost straight away though, an unlikely goal scorer in Tom Jackson finding himself below the opposition goal line, shooting the puck at the goal and somehow managing to squeeze the puck into the net. The first period would end all square at 1-1.
The home side came out flying at the start of the second session. With ill-discipline from the Eagles gifting the Wild power-play opportunities, Goals would eventually come from Michal Fico, George Crawshaw, Shaun Dippnall & new boy Joe Gilbert, scoring his first goal for the Wild. This would give the Halton side a firm grip on the game ending the 2nd period 5-1.
Wild would dominate the 3rd period with a further powerplay strike coming from Geoff Wigglesworth. A string of near misses would give Blackburn hope, 2 quick scrappy goals giving the visitors momentum and bringing the game back to 6-3. Wigglesworth would restore the 4 goal lead before another backlash from the Eagles who would get the score to a respectable 7-5 but eventually just running out of time to catch a high flying Wild side that are proving difficult to beat on home ice.
Assistant Coach Richard Charles had this to say about Sundays events;
‘’Blackburn are never an easy team to play against. They come at you hard and physical whilst still having some guys who are a real threat offensively. After a slow start we stuck to the game plan and didn’t let them frustrate us. As a team we have learnt to stay patient and take our chances when they come, we certainly did that in the 2nd period. The game plan was to get 2 points and we succeeded. Now we need to regroup, get a good week of training under our belt and think about Nottingham at home next Sunday, which is of course another big game for our club.’’
The Widnes Wild return to home action this Sunday as they face the Nottingham Lions 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
Photo: Michal Fico scores for Widnes against Blackburn (Photo by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk)