Jonathan Williamson scored the Wild’s over time winning goal against Sheffield and received the MVP award – photo by Steve Cunningham
Sunday 11th February – Moralee Division: Widnes Wild 7 – Sheffield Scimitars 6 (OTW)
The Widnes Wild NIHL team staged a late fightback to secure a dramatic 7-6 overtime victory over the Sheffield Scimitars at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
Widnes opened the scoring with their very first attack of the game with a goal from Matty Barlow after just 25 seconds but were then pegged back with a Sheffield equaliser on 13 minutes. Barlow scored again - with a shorthanded goal with 1 second left in the period - and Widnes took a shaky 2-1 lead into the first break.
The second period was as nail-bitingly close as the first and Sheffield drew level with a powerplay goal two minutes in. Widnes edged back into the lead with goals from Barlow – for a straight hat trick – and Kyle Carruth but two more goals for the visitors left the game finely poised at 4-4 after 40 minutes of play.
Sheffield took the lead on 44 minutes and it took until the 53rd minute for Widnes to drag themselves back onto level terms with a goal from Andrew Hopkins.
A powerplay goal on 57 minutes saw Sheffield take the lead once again – with the league’s bottom team sensing the chance for just their 5th win of the season – but Widnes dug deep and an equaliser from Kyle Carruth on 59 minutes forced the game into sudden death overtime.
The match could easily have gone either way at this point and, as the clock ticked down, it increasingly looked as if a penalty shoot out might be needed to decide an overall winner.
Widnes finally got the upper hand in terms of shots on goal in the overtime period and the game winning goal finally came courtesy of Jonathan Williamson with just 34 seconds left to play.
The Wild receive two league points for the overtime win and Sheffield get one point for drawing at the end of regulation time.
Widnes are next in action this Saturday 17th February when they travel to East Lancashire to take on the Blackburn Hawks in the M56 Cup. It is the Wild’s last group game in the round robin tournament and they would need to win by 3 clear goals to have any chance of winning the trophy.
They are then at home on Sunday 18th February, when they take on Nottingham Lions in the Moralee Division at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off.
The home game against Sheffield that had to be postponed back in November due to the Carbon Monoxide issue at the Widnes rink has now been re-arranged and will be played on Sunday 25th February face off 5.30pm.