The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild continued their preparations for the new season with a 7 – 2 challenge game victory over local rivals Altrincham Aces at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
The match saw Wild debuts for Charlie Ratcliffe – younger brother of long term Wild player Thomas Ratcliffe – and Sam Anderson, who were both lining up against their former rink mates. 16-year old Anderson made club history by being the first Wild junior player to play for the senior team.
The Wild had comprehensively beaten the Aces 1 – 10 away the previous week but both teams had different players available for this game, so it was very difficult to know what to expect from this return encounter. Luckily, from the view-point of having a competitive and very entertaining game, the Aces had picked up somewhat during the interim period and this was a much closer contest all round.
The first period was goal-less, with both teams having chances and the deadlock was not broken until the 24th minute, when summer signing M.J. Clancy scored his first goal for the Wild. A second goal just 20 seconds later, this time from Michal Novak, doubled the advantage and a goal from newly-appointed team captain Danny Bullock made the score 3 – 0 for the Wild at the half-way point of the game.
The Aces pulled a goal back on 32 minutes through former Wild player Sam Dunford but the three goal cushion was restored on 36 minutes with a strike from Ryan Kemp, another of the Wild’s summer signings.
It was Altrincham who scored the next goal after 45 minutes and this left the game on a knife-edge with the result far from assured. Any concerns of a late fight-back by the Aces, however, were quashed by a second goal of the night for Danny Bullock on 50 minutes and then another from Michal Novak 2 minutes after that. The scoring for the evening was rounded off with a goal from Wild’s Jakub Hajek with less than a minute left to play.
The MVP Awards went to Wild debutant Charlie Ratcliffe and Aces captain Andy Dunn and were presented by Kelly Marks ,who is the Community Fund Raiser with the Wild’s chosen charity for this season, Stick ‘n’ Step.
Afterwards, Kelly said: “I was very impressed by the warm welcome I received and with the fantastic atmosphere at the match. I am really looking forward to co-operating with the Wild, raising funds and awareness for Stick ‘n’ Step for the coming season.”
The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild are in action again next weekend, when they take on the Moralee Division Blackburn Hawks team in back-to-back Challenge matches. They are away to Blackburn on Saturday, 7th September – face off 5.30 p.m – . and take to the ice against the Hawks at home on Sunday evening 8th September at Planet Ice Widnes. Face Off is at 5.30 p.m. and doors open at 4.45 p.m.
- Sunday, 1st September 2019 – Challenge Match
- YKK Widnes Wild 7 – Altrincham Aces 2
- Period Scores: 0 – 0, 4 – 1, 3 – 1
- Shots on Goal: Wild 51- Aces 27 (16 – 4, 18 – 17, 17 – 6)
- Penalties in Minutes: Wild 12 – Aces 24
- Wild scoring: Michal Novak 2 + 1; Danny Bullock 2 + 0; Jakub Hajek 1 + 2; Ryan Kemp 1 + 1; M.J. Clancy 1 + 1; Peter Toth 0 + 1; Tom Jackson 0 + 1;
- Match Officials: Ray Ormes (Referee), Dan Farren (Linesman), Faye Andrews (Linesman)
- MVPs: Widnes: Charlie Ratcliffe / Altrincham Aces: Andy Dunn