The Widnes Wild NIHL team slipped to a disappointing 1-9 defeat at the hands of league leaders Billingham Stars at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
The game started badly for the Wild, with the Stars taking the lead after just 39 seconds and Widnes never really got going after that.
Both teams had their chances in front of goal – in fact the Wild actually narrowly outshot the visitors by 36 to 31 over the course of the game – but Billingham were able to make more of theirs when they came.
The Stars edged further ahead in the 10th minute and made the score 0-3 with a goal just 13 seconds from the first period buzzer.
The second period continued in similar vein with Billingham scoring three more goals before Matty Barlow finally found the back of the net for Widnes at 39.45. Unfortunately, the Stars struck right back with another goal just 9 seconds later to lead 1-7 at the second period break.
Phil Pearson replaced Harrison Walker in the Wild net for the final period but a fresh pair of gloves was unable to stop the flow of goals and Billingham scored again on 47 and 55 minutes. Pearson had to leave the ice for treatment after picking up an injury under a Stars challenge just prior to the 9th goal and Walker came back on for the final 5 minutes.
There was no more scoring in the game and Billingham were able to head back to the North East celebrating a comprehensive 1-9 victory.
The weekend results see Billingham retain their place at the top of the Moralee Division with 14 points from 10 games, ahead of a chasing pack of 3 teams with 10 points each. The Wild slip down to 8th place in the league table with 2 wins from their 6 games so far but they do have matches in hand over everybody else.
The Wild have a tough run of four away games in a row now with trips to Blackburn Hawks next Sunday 22nd October, Solihull Barons on Saturday 28th October, Whitley Warriors on Sunday 29th October and Hull Jets on Saturday 4th November.
They are next at home when they face Hull on Sunday 5th November at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off.
The Wild Junior Academy have two home games this weekend with the Under 12s taking on Manchester at Planet Ice Widnes on Saturday, 4.20pm face off, and the Under 18B team facing Billingham straight afterwards.
Admission is free for all spectators to Wild Academy home games at Planet Ice Widnes and fans are encouraged to go along and support the stars of the future.