Tonight we welcome to the National Ice Centre the Widnes Wild this being their first visit of the season to the Lions lair in what promises to be a cracking game of hockey giving both teams the chance to really size each other up for the three further encounters down the line.
It would be true to say that the Wild were tipped pre-season to be the major challenger for honours this season following on from their very successful campaign under their previous Head Coach Scott McKenzie who got them so close to promotion last time out.
Well Scott moved on to take up the Head Coach post at newly promoted Deeside Dragons which left a massive void for the Wild management to fill because as well as being Head Coach Scott was a player who headed the scoring board in the Laidler Conference racking up over 100 points during the 2015/16 season.
The Wild saw an opportunity to add a new player/coach and a number of very experienced ice hockey players with the demise from the Moralee Conference of the Sheffield Spartans and moved quickly to fill the gap left by Scott and appointed ex Sheffield Spartans captain Ollie Barron as Player/Coach for the 2016/17 season. Ollie soon set about the recruitment process and a number of ex Spartans joined him up at Widnes, including his brother Will and it became apparent quite quickly that they had the makings of a solid team with definite ambitions particularly the definite goal of promotion to the Moralee Conference this time round.
The season commenced strongly for the Wild with two pre-season wins followed by five straight wins in the conference. Since that time of the six games they have played they have met the bitter taste of defeat on three occasions but have since started to get back to winning ways the last being a 4-2 home win against near rivals the Altrincham Aces.
The Wild are a pretty formidable outfit seeking to fight their way back to the top of the conference from their present fourth place spot. The Wild do have games in hand but know having the games is not the same as having the points on the board and they require a good winning run to unseat the present front runners, the Sheffield Senators and the top of the table Blackburn Eagles.
Last Sunday saw our Lions back on the road for the fifth weekend in a row when they visited a resurgent Hull Jets who were on a four game unbeaten run. The Lions managed to bring down the Jets with a hard fought 3-9 win.
Period Scores: 1-2/2-3/0-4.
Face off tonight is after the Panthers game at 7.30pm on the Olympic Rink.