Monday 17 July 2017

Summer Cup: Widnes Wildcats 3 - Kingston Cobras 2

Sunday 16th July 2017 – Puckstop Summer Classic
Widnes Wildcats 3- Kingston Cobras 2
Period Scores: 2-0, 0-2, 1-0
Penalties in Minutes:  Widnes 18 – Kingston 6
Widnes Scoring: Martin Dietrich 3+0, Neil Herring 0+1, Andrejs Tenbergs 0+1

The Widnes Wildcats picked up their first win in this season’s Summer Cup competition with a well fought 3-2 victory over 4th place Kingston Cobras at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday.

The game started late due to excess surface water on the ice and, because of that, the first two periods were played “running time”, without stopping the clock for minor stoppages. This shortened game time gave the match an extra urgency and both teams played good flowing hockey throughout with very few hold ups.

After a very evenly balanced opening, it was the Wildcats who took the lead after 15 minutes when, on a powerplay, Martin Dietrich prodded the puck through a mass of players in front of the Cobras’ goal to put the home side ahead.

The lead was doubled just 50 seconds later when Dietrich, again, fired in a long shot from wide of the left wing and the score remained 2-0 to the Wildcats at the end of the first period.

The second period was also very evenly matched and keenly contested by both sides.  The visitors pulled a goal back on 28 minutes and then equalised on 33 minutes, leaving the contest on a knife edge with still almost half the game to be played.

The score was still 2-2 at the second break and both sides still had everything to play for in the last period.

The third period was played in normal “stop time” – with the clock being stopped each time the whistle was blown but the game was played at a furious pace with the action switching so quickly from end to end that there was hardly a moment to draw breath.

The deciding goal came in the 50th minute - scored, once again, by the Wildcats’ Martin Dietrich – and it was all the more of an achievement as the home side were shorthanded at the time due to an interference penalty. 

The home side had chances to extend the lead in the closing minutes but they were repelled by a resolute Kingston defence and the Cobras also had opportunities to snatch a late equaliser.

With just 90 seconds left on the clock a Kingston attacker hit the post and then, in the very last seconds of the game, the Wildcats netminder made a fine close-range save to block another attack but found himself sprawled on the ice outside his goal with the loose puck rolling in slow motion towards two Cobras players. The resulting shot hit the side netting and went wide and the Wildcats held on to notch up a well -deserved - and highly entertaining 3-2 victory.      

Despite this win, the Wildcats remain they are bottom of the Summer Cup table with 3 points from their 6 games to date.  They are just one point behind second bottom Solihull Vikings and two points behind Grimsby Lightning and Blackburn Falcons, with games in hand over all the other teams, so there is still a lot to play for in terms of final league position and possible play off qualification.

They are away next Sunday against Blackburn Falcons and play at home the Sunday after - 30th July 2017 – when they entertain Grimsby Lightning in a 4.30pm face off at Silver Blades Widnes.   

You can watch video highlights of the Wildcats’ win over Kingston – and lots of other games as well - courtesy of official Widnes Wild videographer Colin Ellis on YouTube, here: HERE
Next Sunday – 23rd July - the Riverside Raiders are in action at home to Blackburn Buccaneers in their last group game of the Puckstop Summer Classic at Silver Blades Widnes. The game faces off at 4.30pm and admission is free.