Vipers ran out comfortable 11-2 victors in this game, but the real winner of the day was the sport itself. Both teams consistently ran four lines and gave valuable game experience to their full rosters.
Widnes have attracted many new faces since last season and are clearly in a phase of development that will eventually benefit them further down the line.
The Vipers’ Line 1 showed the kind of destruction it is capable of, with 13 points from a total of 18 coming from that combination.
After a lengthy injury lay-off, Robin Mullen has again started to find her top gear and that can only spell trouble for opposition teams, particularly when supported by players of the quality of Jess Urquhart and Renata Mudrakova.
This season’s Vipers are by no means a one-person or one line team. There were goals and points spread from Line 1 to Line 4 and some excellent defensive displays to combat the very slippery Widnes forwards.
Of particular note were first goals for both Amy Robinson and Eva Harrison and an assist for Laura Richmond, her first point of this season.
Only Nottingham and Chelmsford remain undefeated at this early stage of the season.
With Holly Steeples posting current save averages of 93.3% and a strong defence in front of her, there is an optimism in the camp, not seen for a number of years.
Robin Mullen leads the league’s point scoring on 13. A further three Vipers players (two of whom are just 16 years old) are averaging at over a point per game (Renata Mudrakova – 6 pts; Jessica Urquhart and Madison Wright – 5 pts).
The efforts of Ryan and Chris to develop female hockey in Nottingham, which has been fully supported by Nottingham IHC, certainly seems to be working well!
Robin Mullen 4+2
Renata Mudrakova 2+2
Jessica Urquhart 2+1
Madison Wright 1+1
Eva Harrison 1+0
Amy Robinson 1+0
Laura Richmond 0+1
Shots on Goal 73
Shots on Holly Steeples 20 SV%: 90.0%
Nottingham MoM Eva Harrison