Thursday 19 September 2019

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 cafĂ© will be open.