SOLIHULL Barons continued their pre-season preparations with two matches against Laidler (Division 2) favourites the Widnes Wild which would see the honours going the way of the home side in each case.
On Saturday the Barons made the trip North to Cheshire to face a highly competitive Widnes Wild side and despite opening the scoring courtesy of Andy Whitehouse, the hosts fought back to snatch a narrow 2-1 win in the final period.
The game would however end on a downward note after Barons forward Niklas Ottosson took a nasty hit to the head which would see an ambulance called and he was taken to hospital.
The resulting delay forced the game to be called short with 15 minutes still left to play, marking the Barons first defeat in over 60 games.
On Sunday both sides went head-to-head again at Solihull Ice and this proved to be a much more free-flowing affair with plenty of goals.
The visitors went ahead when Wild player coach Scott McKenzie made the most of a break through the Barons defence to leave Shaun Dippnall the task of finding space in the Barons net and get Widnes on the scoreboard after four minutes.
Two minutes later Josh Bruce levelled things for Solihull as the Barons top line moved the puck over the front of goal until an opening appeared.
The game would continue on a highly competitive basis for the remainder of the period and with two minutes left Tom Soar broke the deadlock for the Barons thanks to a powerplay shot from square in front of goal which rocketed into the roof of the Wild net.
The Barons would open the second period the brighter of the two sides with goals by Tomas Janak and Joe Henry before Shaun Dippnall got his and the Wild’s second goal of the evening.
The period would end with a further goal for each side with Joe Henry getting the Barons’ fifth.
A further two goals were scored by the hosts in the final period courtesy of Ryan Selwood and Josh Bruce but Wild however finished strongly to finish just one goal behind their opponents at the final whistle.
The Barons conclude their pre-season this Sunday with the visit of Telford NL Tigers to Hobs Moat. The last time these two sides met was in last season’s play-off final when the Barons came from behind to clinch the title with four seconds to spare.