Wild vs Solihull-57

Widnes Wild vs Solihull Barons


The YKK Widnes Wild faced the Solihull Barons for the 1st home game of 2024 and claimed revenge with a 5-3 victory, after taking the Barons into OT just 6 days prior. Wild lined up with 16+2, including Solway lads Kyle Carruth, Owen Rae and Bailey Thomson. Harrison Walker got the start in net, with Luca Tessadri backing up. Solihull travelled with a healthy number, although some key players were missing. Graham Laverick once again guarded the pipes for the Barons.


Solihull quickly put pressure on Walker, but he handed it well to prevent an early lead to the Barons. Wild then overturned the puck and a play from ex-Bradford players #5 Rhys Edwards, #39 Matty Barlow and #21 Damarni James, allowed James to claim his 1st goal in a Widnes jersey at 10:13. The Barons quickly looked to level the score but the Wild defence kept them at bay. However, a late chance for Solihull was taken by #18 Jacob Race, who tapped the puck past Walker at the back post at 17:26, assisted by #81 James Moeller and #22 Dani Haid. There was a late opportunity for #91 Niklas Ottosson to gain an edge, but Walker put up the stop to keep the score at 1-1 after 20 minutes.


The 2nd period started slow, but a tripping penalty for #6 Richard Crowe gave the Wild a chance to re-gain their lead. Solihull however prevented this and the score remained even as the half-way mark of the game approached. The match then stepped up a level, seeing 3 goals in a matter of minutes. A tip-in for #16 Mikey Gilbert off a Barlow shot, posted the score to 2-1 at 32:28. A breakaway for #23 Dan Mulcahy, assisted by Ottosson and Soden at 34:37 quickly levelled the score again.


A 2nd goal of the night for Damarni James claimed back the advantage for his side, with a one-timer, assisted by Hopkins and Williamson at 35:55. A cross ice-pass from Edwards was fired at Laverick by Carruth, but the initial shot was stopped. However, player-coach #63 Joey Coulter was there at the post to tap the puck behind the line at 37:41. Despite a late PK after a tripping penalty on Williamson, the Wild clenched onto a 4-2 lead.


Wild returned to the penalty kill once more in the opening minutes of the final frame when Kyle Carruth was handed a 5min elbows penalty. Widnes held onto their advantage after a superb defensive effort being a man short. Solihull then gave Wild an opportunity when #97 Max Soden sat 2 minutes for slashing. However, a snipe from #7 Sam Chandler found its way over Walker’s shoulder for Solihull to reduce the deficit short-handed at 51:00, assisted by #23 Mulcahy and #91 Ottosson.


Wild played a more defensive game in the final few minutes to reduce the chance of the Barons tying the game. However, Joey Coulter bagged his 2nd of the night at 57:57, assisted by line-mates Edwards and Carruth to end the score 5-3 to the Wild, giving them their 1st victory of the new year.


MVPs were awarded to double goalscorer #21 Damarni James for Widnes and forward #23 Dan Mulcahy for Solihull.


Officials: Ryder, Woodward, Shields




Widnes Wild: Damarni James 2+0, Joey Coulter 2+0, Mikey Gilbert 1+0, Rhys Edwards 0+3, Matty Barlow 0+2, Johnathon Williamson 0+2, Kyle Carruth 0+2, Andrew Hopkins 0+1


Solihull Barons: Jacob Race 1+0, Dan Mulcahy 1+1, Sam Chandler 1+0, Niklas Ottosson 0+2, Max Soden 0+1, James Moeller 0+1, Dani Haid 0+1


Deeside Dragons vs Widnes Wild


The YKK Widnes Wild travelled the short distance to face local derby rivals Deeside Dragons for the 1st time at the den this season, leaving with a 2-5 win. Wild iced with a squad of 16+2, missing D-man Owen Rae from the previous night, but gained Flynn Massie. Luca Tessadri was between the pipes for Wild as Harrison Walker returned to the Leeds lineup. Meanwhile, Ollie Booth was given the start for the Dragons following his MVP performance the prior weekend.


Deeside were struck with a penalty kill early in the game as #18 Ryan Jones sat 2min for slashing at 2:16. Just 40 seconds later, #39 Matt Barlow fired the puck into the top corner of the Dragon’s goal, assisted by #21 Damarni James, to give Widnes the advantage. Deeside’s Jakub Hajek then had a breakaway chance with Tessadri but his shot went wide of the pipes. However, he collected the puck and fed it back to Jesson who levelled the score at 6:29.


Tensions began to spill, seeing both Ryan Jones and Will Harper head to the box for co-incidental interference penalties at 8:36. Whilst both men were still off the ice, the Wild reclaimed their lead. Rhys Edwards ripped the puck from the blue line to send it bar-down into the net at 10:24, assisted by #63 Joey Coulter to post the score at 1-2. Several more penalties followed in the 1st period, but neither team could capitalise.


Widnes returned for the 2nd period and quickly applied the pressure on Deeside netminder #94 Jace Gledhill who was subbed in for Booth after he picked up an injury in warmups. Kyle Carruth soon fired the puck over his shoulder at 23:12, assisted by #5 Rhys Edwards to extend the lead for the Wild. The derby tensions continued to spill, seeing 2 sets of co-incidental penalties in less than 2 minutes.


The constant flow of penalties disrupted play and both sides were unable to score for over 10 minutes. However, Deeside’s #7 Alex Parry managed to reduce the deficit on the PP at 35:38 whilst Carruth sat for interference, assisted by Parsons and Valusiak. Another penalty for Carruth gave Deeside the opportunity to level the score, but Widnes carried their lead into the final period.


Wild were struck with a run of penalties in the 1st half of the 3rd period, but the defence held strong to prevent Deeside levelling the game. However the Wild further punished the Dragons with a short-handed goal from #5 Rhys Edwards who grabbed his 2nd of the evening at 49:34.


Brodie Jesson picked up an interference call at 51:20, but the Dragons defended well. Once Jesson’s penalty expired, Deeside called a time-out to re-discuss tactics. Jace Gledhill was pulled at 59:08, in favour of an extra attacker, in a final attempt from Deeside to claw a goal back. However, Wild’s #16 Mikey Gilbert fired the puck from the Widnes end at 59:40 to finish the game at 2-5, giving Widnes their 1st 4-point weekend of the season.


MVPs were awarded to both #5s; forward Rhys Edwards claimed the award for Widnes after picking up 3 points and James Parsons received the title for Deeside.


Officials: Ormes, Fielden, MacKinnon




Widnes Wild: Rhys Edwards 2+1, Matt Barlow 1+0, Kyle Carruth 1+0, Mikey Gilbert 1+0, Joey Coulter 0+1, Damarni James 0+1


Deeside Dragons: Brodie Jesson 1+0, Alex Parry 1+0, Jakub Hajek 0+1, James Parsons 0+1, Petr Valusiak 0+1


Articles written by Fleur Tobin