Saturday 9th September 2023 – Challenge Match: Telford Tigers2 3 – Widnes Wild 6
The Widnes Wild NIHL team rounded off their two game pre season challenge series against Telford Tigers 2 with a 3-6 win away in Shropshire on Saturday.
The game saw Wild debuts for former Chelmsford and Great Britain Under 18 netminder Luca Tessadri – who has signed for the Wild on a 2-way arrangement with National Division Leeds Knights - and 17 year old forward Thomas Mardell who is on a 2-way contract with Laidler Division Bradford Bulldogs.
Widnes took the lead in the 9th minute with a goal from Rhys Edwards and doubled the advantage through Andrew Hopkins on 15 minutes to lead 0-2 at the first break.
Bez Hughes fired the Wild further ahead with a goal just 85 seconds into the second period and Matty Barlow made the score 0-4 on 26 minutes.
A goal from Mikey Gilbert on 30 minutes brought the score to 0-5 to Widnes and it looked as if a whitewash might be on the cards but Telford struck back and scored their first goal just 20 seconds later.
A second goal for the Tigers just 53 seconds after that narrowed the score to 2-5 and the Wild held off some later pressure to hold on to the 3-goal advantage heading into the second break.
Hopkins scored his second goal of the game – and the Wild’s sixth - 65 seconds into the third period, putting Widnes firmly back in control. Both teams had their chances in the latter stages and Telford eventually scored again on 52 minutes but that was the last goal action of the game and the Wild came away with a 3-6 victory.
The MVP award for Widnes went to Gregor Donaldson and Luca Tessadri was able to record a 90.00% Save % in his first Wild game.
The Wild are next in action this Sunday 17th September when they take on Nottingham Lions in their Moralee Division opener at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off.