|Bez Hughes scored the Wild's only goal away at Nottingham (photo by Geoff White)
Sunday 1st October 2023 – Moralee Division: Nottingham Lions 4 – YKK Widnes Wild 1
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild slumped to their third Moralee Division defeat in a row with a 4-1 loss away to Nottingham Lions on Sunday.
Widnes travelled to the Lace City with a shorter bench than usual with a number of players missing through suspension, injury and other availability issues. They had beaten the Lions in overtime in their first meeting at Planet Ice Widnes 2 weeks before and Nottingham had yet to win a game this season and were, therefore, keen to break their duck.
The first period was pretty even - with both sides having their chances in front of goal, but neither being able to make a breakthrough - and the score remained 0-0 at the first break.
The second period continued in similar vein, with plenty of end to end play, the odd penalty, but no goals. However, the whole complexion of the game suddenly changed in a brief spell at the end of the second period.
After a spell of pressure on Luca Tessadri’s net, the Lions finally opened the scoring with 3 minutes left to go in the period. They scored again with their very next attack just 18 seconds later and then added a third – a shorthanded goal - with 26 seconds left on the clock. By this stage, the Wild had been outshot by more than 2 to 1 over the two periods and had a bit of catching up to do.
Nottingham edged even further ahead with another strike in the 44th minute and Widnes finally found the back of the net themselves on 49 minutes when Bez Hughes fired the puck in from close range.
The Wild pushed forward to try and build on this and had a couple of powerplay opportunities late in the game. They were unable to make any further headway, however, and the score remained 4-1 at the final buzzer.
The Wild are next in action this Sunday 8th October when they entertain Whitley Warriors at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off.
Wild summer signing Damarni James had been handed a 10 game ban by the EIHA’s Department of Player Safety following an incident in last weekend’s game against Blackburn Hawks.
It was James’ first appearance for the Wild and was, ironically, against his former club and the controversy centred around a check against the boards on Hawks’ import Devids Jurinenoks, who subsequently had to leave the game for treatment.
No action was taken by the referee at the time but, after a video appeal after the game, the governing body’s disciplinary board decided that the it was an illegal check from behind, adding that the player was not aware that the hit was coming and was, therefore, in a vulnerable position, and that the check was late and was made after the puck had been released.