The YKK Widnes Wild travelled north on Saturday night to take on the Blackburn Hawks in their final M56 cup game. The silverware was up for grabs for both teams , however a dominating 9-0 performance by the home side saw them take the trophy, leaving Widnes on 6 points.

Widnes made the journey with a squad of 14+2, seeing the return of Scottish 2-ways Bailey Thomson and Owen Rae, plus the addition of D-man Will Harper, however Rhys Edwards was still missing from the lineup. Wild also recruited Solway Sharks u19 netminder Logan Reid to backup starting tender Phil Pearson for the evening.


Blackburn Hawks iced with a squad of 17+2, missing key forwards James Royds and Josh Crawley. However Charles Phillips boosted numbers, playing his 1st game back after injury. The Hawks opted for Oliver Thomasson in net who featured in the previous meeting between the 2 sides.

Widnes won the initial face-off and fired shots on Thomasson in hopes to gain an early lead, however he held strong. Both sides looked to claim a quick start but couldn’t find the back of the net with most of the play being in the neutral zone.

The first penalty of the game was handed to Blackburn’s #8 Aaron Davies for interference to give Widnes an opportunity. However, the Widnes forwards were kept at bay and Blackburn returned to 5 skaters with the score still level.

The Hawks then grabbed the opening goal of the game after #12 Ethan Mayoh slotted the puck low past Pearson, assisted by #15 Charles Phillips and #8 Aaron Davies. The late goal, scored at 19:52 scraped Blackburn into the lead after 20 minutes played.
Widnes quickly fought back in the first few minutes of the 2nd period, but once again Thomasson was wise to all of the shots landing his way. Blackburn captain #8 Aaron Davies then doubled the Hawks’ lead to 2 at 28:25, assisted by #96 Devids Jurinenoks and #77 Ben McLellan.

A further 2 quick goals for Blackburn set them 4 goals apart half-way through the game. The first was backhanded into the net by #11 Luke Watson from Jurinenoks and Grimes, followed by a strike from #20 Jacob Lutwyche via Jurinenoks and Davies.
Penalties were awarded to Wild’s #88 Kyle Carruth and Hawks’ #98 Sam Warnock for roughing, plus #11 Luke Watson for misconduct at 32:09, placing Widnes on the powerplay. The chance to reduce the deficit was not taken by the Wild and Blackburn killed the penalty without conceding.

Just 15 seconds later, Latvian import #96 Devids Jurinenoks extended the lead for his side at 34:26 as Barlow and Davies were down the opposite end of the ice exchanging words. A further goal for Blackburn came from a breakaway by captain #8 Aaron Davies at 36:24, assisted by #20 Jacob Lutwyche. Widnes then swapped netminders, giving #29 Logan Reid ice time in a Wild jersey.


Wild’s #17 Andrew Hopkins then received a double minor for high sticks at 36:31, leaving Widnes on a 4 min penalty kill. Further damage from the Hawks came at 37:58 after #96 Jurinenoks grabbed his 2nd of the game, on the powerplay, assisted by #28 James Riddoch and #70 Lee Pollitt.

A final goal of the period came from #20 Lutwyche, via #12 Ethan Mayoh on the powerplay at 38:17, posting the score at 8-0 after 40 minutes. The 7 goals in just under 10 minutes heavily swung the game in Blackburn’s favour, but the Wild came out fighting in the final period in an effort to claw back the scoreline.

A penalty for interference on Widnes D-man #20 Bez Hughes put them at risk of conceding early in the 3rd period, but the team did enough to prevent the Blackburn offence. Further penalties were handed to #19 Ruddick and #11 Harper at 45:50, for roughing and holding to leave the play 5on5.

However, an additional penalty called on #12 Mayoh at 46:27 gave Widnes an opportunity. Wild posted shots on Thomasson, but he kept his composure to deny the Widnes attack during their powerplay.

The final goal and hat-trick for Aaron Davies was slotted low past Reid at 53:12, assisted by #96 Jurinenoks and #20 Lutwyche to set the score at 9-0. Widnes pushed in the final few minutes, but the Hawks defence performed to stop the Wild attack posing a threat. 2 penalties in the dying moments for the Hawks put Widnes on a 5on3 chance, but the buzzer sounded before they made a successful shot.


MVPs were awarded to defenceman Will Harper for Widnes and captain Aaron Davies after his hat-trick performance for Blackburn.

Officials: Ormes, MacKinnon, Currell

STATS – (1-0) (7-0) (1-0)

Blackburn Hawks: Aaron Davies 3+1, Devids Jurinenoks 2+4, Jacob Lutwyche 2+2, Ethan Mayoh 1+1, Luke Watson 1+1, Ben McLellan 0+1, Ronnie Grimes, James Riddoch 0+1, Lee Pollitt 0+1

Article written by Fleur Tobin