Monday 22 April 2024

Wild Women v Sheffield Preview

Preston Gennoe is the Wild Women’s top scorer so far this season (Photo by Brian Noble)

The DMUK Widnes Wild women’s team play their first game in over a month when they take on Sheffield Shadows this Sunday 28th April at Planet Ice Widnes, 4.25pm face off.

The Wild women have had a bit of an “up and down” season and have narrowly lost their last two home games – to league champions Caledonia Steel Queens and play off contenders Telford – and will be keen to bounce back from those defeats.

Sunday’s opponents Sheffield are above Widnes in the league table with 6 wins from their 10 games to date, as opposed to the Wild’s 4 wins from the same number of games.  The away game in Sheffield back in November was very close and saw the Wild women fight back from being 5-1 down early in the third period to almost snatching a point in a 5-4 defeat, so there are hopes that the game on Sunday will be just as keenly contested and entertaining. 

Sheffield are in 4th place in the Division 2 North table at present and are still harbouring hopes of qualifying for the end of season Play Offs.  

The Caledonia Steel Queens have already secured the first spot in the play offs, having won the Division 2 North league title with games still to play but qualification for the second spot is still wide open with a chasing pack of 5 teams still in the running.

As the league table stands at present, the Wild Women could – mathematically, at least – still snatch second spot in the table and take the other play off berth if a rather unlikely series of events were to take place.

Firstly they would have to win both of their remaining league games – which is certainly possible - then hope that everybody else takes points off each other – which is less likely – and, finally, hope that they get a favourable decision from the League Management Committee on the allocation of points from two unplayed games that can’t be rescheduled.

With that over-complicated scenario seeming rather improbable, it looks as if the Wild Women might miss out on the Play Offs this season, which may be a blessing in disguise as there is a bit of a storm brewing in that direction.

The EIH(A) have announced that the Play Offs will take place at iceSheffield over three days on the weekend of 31st May to 2nd June. Last year they were played over the Bank Holiday weekend from Saturday to Monday - which was fine for most people - but this year, as the venue was, apparently, not available for that particular weekend, the event is being run from Friday to Sunday – with the first day being a normal working day for many players, officials and, of course, supporters.

Six semi final matches are scheduled to be played on the Friday, starting at 9am in the morning and running through until 10pm or later in the evening, and as the women’s leagues don’t officially finish until the end of May, some teams may not even know who has qualified for them until a few days beforehand. This could cause a logistical nightmare in terms of getting time off work, booking hotels and travelling to Sheffield on a busy weekday and the scheduling for this year’s event has provoked a lot of criticism from around the country.