20231008 Wild vs Whiltey-42

The YKK Widnes Wild took a dominant home victory over the Whitley Warriors at home on Sunday night, grabbing an all important 2 league points. The Wild were boosted by the Scottish power of Innes Gallacher, Torran Anderson and Conner McNulty, plus the return of Andrew Hopkins from injury to give the side a strong squad of 18+2 to face the Warriors.


Widnes took immediate control of the game from the first puck drop and peppered #23 Wardell in the opening few minutes. Several sets of penalties then followed for both sides, leading to an intense remainder of the 1st period with the score still level at 0-0. However, in the final few moments, #35 Luca Tessadri passed the puck down the ice as Widnes were on a PK, which Whitley’s #78 Grigors fumbled into his own net after pressure from #8 Conner McNulty. Wild’s #35 Tessadri was then awarded the goal to give Widnes a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. (It’s not often we see a goalie goal!).


Whitley came out for revenge in the 2nd period, and soon capitalised on a play from #20 Gary Kelly at 21:54 from #27 Jamie Ord and #11 Shaun Kippin to put them level. Another flurry of penalties occured as tensions rose, with both teams being determined to gain an edge mid-way through the game. Widnes managed to find a way past Wardell again, this time through Scottish player Innes Gallacher on the breakaway after a pass from #46 Alex Mitchell, to score his debut goal at 36:46. Wild’s #63 Joey Coulter sat 2 minutes for hooking late on at 37:01, but the team put on a strong defensive performance to finish the 2nd with their 1 goal lead still intact.


Widnes returned to the ice and quickly created chances in an attempt to seal their victory early in the 3rd. Whitley then had 2 opportunities to level the game after #11 Harper and #84 Jackson picked up penalties at 43:29 and 46:59. The PK unit held the Warriors at bay and Widnes returned to full strength with Whitley failing to capitalise. However, it didn’t take the Wild long to punish the Warriors again, and #5 Gallacher fired another into Wardell’s goal to make it a double on his debut, unassisted at 50:56.


Tensions continued to rise in the final 10 minutes of the match, which clearly worked in Widnes’ favour as #63 Joey Coulter extended the score to 4-1 at 56:01 from #71 Jack Murray. Just 40 seconds later, Whitley’s captain #11 Kippin worked one past Luca to narrow the deficit to 4-2 at 56:41. It was all about the Scots on the night, as Innes Gallacher tapped a final goal into the Whitley net at 57:48 from #10 Nathan Britton. The final buzzer sounded moments after, ending the game with a healthy 5-2 win to Widnes after their 3 consecutive losses.


MVPs were awarded to the Whitley net-minder #23 Ryan Wardell for his efforts in goal, and #5 Innes Gallacher received the award for the Wild, after his hat-trick, plus an overall impressive performance on his debut for Widnes.


Your YKK Widnes Wild are back in action, again on home ice at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday 15th October, taking on the Billingham Stars for the first time this season, face-off 5:30pm.


Officials: Ellis, MacKinnon, Ward

Article written by Fleur Tobin