Thursday 19 September 2019

Widnes Wild Women's Team Preview - WNIHL Div 1 N Season 2019/20

Wild celebrations during the women's team's 6-10 pre-season win over Solway (Photo by Douglas McCallum / Copper Tree Photography)

The Widnes Wild Women’s Team play their first home game of the season this Sunday 22nd September when they take on the Solway Sharks Ladies Team in a pre-season challenge match at Planet Ice Widnes – 5.30 p.m. face off.

The Wild Women are playing in Division 1 North this Season, where the Sharks are likely to be one of their main challengers for the league title. The Wild Women beat the Solway team 6 – 10 in a friendly game back in August but both teams will have different players available for this encounter, so it should be a fascinating game.

The game will also see the launch of the Edith Smith Memorial Award for Most Valuable Player, which will be presented at each of the Wild Women’s home games this season. The award commemorates Edith Smith who was Britain’s first Warranted Woman Police Officer, who is buried in St. Mary’s churchyard, Halton.

The women’s game against Solway this Sunday faces off at 5.30 p.m., admission is just £1 per person and the café will be open.

The full list of fixtures for the Wild women’s team this season is:

Sunday 22nd September: Home v Solway Sharks (Challenge Match) Face off: 5.30pm
Edith Smith MVP Trophy Launch

Sunday 6th October: Home v Sheffield Shadows - Face off: 5.30pm
Match Sponsor: Unison Liverpool John Moores University & Andrew Shutt, Paul Boardman, Martin Naden and Sam Ellison.

Saturday, 16th November: away at Telford Wrekin Raiders

Sunday 15th December: Home v Solway Sharks - Face off: 5.30pm
Match Sponsor: Available

Saturday 21st December: away at Sheffield Shadows

Sunday 5th January 2020: Home v Nottingham Vipers - Face off: 5.30pm
Match Sponsor: Available

Saturday, 11th January 2020 away at Grimsby Wolves

Sunday 16th February 2020: Home v Grimsby Wolves - Face off: 5.30pm
Match Sponsor: Available

Sunday 1st March 2020: Home v Telford Wrekin Raiders - Face off: 5.30pm
Match Sponsor: Available

Saturday, 28th March 2020: away at Solway Sharks

Saturday 18th April 2020: away at Nottingham Vipers

30th/31st May 2020: Women’s Play Off Weekend at Sheffield

You can find out more about sponsorship opportunities for the Widnes Wild women’s team for the new season HERE

Widnes Wild Weekend Preview: 21st & 22nd September

Wild's Jakub Hajek (#12) fires in a shot in the 2-3 away win at Blackburn (Photo by Thomas Foy)

The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild are away in cup action this Sunday 22nd September, when they take on Moralee Division Blackburn Hawks at the Planet Ice Arena in Blackburn – 5.30 p.m. face off.

This will be quite a test for the Wild as, while they have already played the Hawks twice in pre-season games – winning the away encounter 2 – 3 in Blackburn and then losing 5 – 10 at home – but form from warm-up games counts for very little when it comes to the competitive season.

The Wild have taken the bold step of entering the NIHL Midland Cup this year, which will put them up against four teams from the higher Moralee Division – Blackburn Hawks, Sutton Sting, Solihull Barons and Nottingham Lions. There is a wide gap in terms of team budgets and standard of play between the two Divisions but it will be a useful exercise for the Wild to judge where they currently stand competition-wise in relation to the higher tier.

It will be an even tougher test this weekend, as the Wild will be missing six players – M.J.Clancy, Mikey Gilbert, Dan Bracegirdle, Tom Ratcliffe and Chris Gee are all unable to play through injury, while Czech import Michal Novak, who had a good pre season, will be missing for personal reasons. This notwithstanding, a game against the Hawks is always very entertaining and it will be fascinating to see what happens on Sunday.

The Wild are then away to Sheffield Senators the following Saturday 28th September and are next at home the day after on Sunday 29th September, when they entertain Nottingham Lions in the Midland Cup at Planet Ice Widnes. Face Off is at 5.30 p.m. and doors open at 4.45 p.m.

The new Wild Academy Under 18 Team play their first ever home game this Saturday, 21st September 2019, when they take on the Solihull Under 18 Team at Planet Ice, Widnes. The game faces off at 7.45 p.m. and admission is free.

The Widnes Wild Women’s Team play their first home game of the season this Sunday 22nd September when they take on the Solway Sharks Ladies Team in a pre-season challenge match at Planet Ice Widnes. Face off is at 5.30 p.m., admission is just £1 per person and the café will be open.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Blind Ice Hockey - First Ever UK Event

Action from the UK's first ever blind ice hockey event - held at Planet Ice Widnes (Photo by Hannah Walker)

The Planet Ice Rink at Widnes played host to the first ever Blind Ice Hockey event to be held in the UK on Saturday 14th September. The aim was to introduce blind and visually impaired people to the sport and attracted participants from across the country.

Blind ice hockey uses a larger than normal sized puck, which has ball bearings inside so that players can hear where it is. Coaches and volunteers are also on the ice to guide players while they play and oversee safety. The organisers – Blind Ice Hockey UK – are organising similar taster events at other rinks across the country and are hoping to attract more participants with a view to setting up a team for future paralympic competitions.

The next taster course will take place at Oxford Ice Rink on Saturday 12th October at 4pm.

You can find out more from the organisers, Blind Ice Hockey UK HERE

Photo left:  A participant trying out blind ice hockey, with a helper. Photo right:  Nathan Tree (blind ice hockey player) with Widnes volunteers Andrew Wycherley and Colin Ellis.  (Both photos by Hannah Walker)