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PHOTO: The Chilliwack Chiefs claimed Game 1 of the Mainland Division Final, 3-1.
CREDIT: Russ Alman, Digital Media Northwest

by Arch Ecker

The Wenatchee Wild and Chilliwack Chiefs kicked off their much-anticipated Mainland Division Final series on Friday night at Town Toyota Center, and 3,150 fans saw an entertaining hockey game that was won by the visiting team as Chilliwack claimed Game 1 by a score of 3-1 to take a 1-0 best-of-seven series lead.

The first period was a scoreless penalty-free affair with some decent chances for each side as there was a good pace to the game. Chilliwack had the first power play chance of the game, and the Wild killed it off. Two Wenatchee power play yielded good offensive zone pressure but no goals. Chilliwack cracked through for a 1-0 lead when Davis Bunz sailed a shot over the diving Jimmy O’Brien through a bit of a screen to put the Chiefs up 1-0 at 18:20 of the second period. Forty seven seconds later Ben Fanjoy swept home a rebound for a 2-0 Chilliwack lead that stood through the end of the second period. In the third, at 12:28 the Chiefs pulled ahead 3-0 as Jake Smith hunted down the puck on the backcheck, and on a give-and-go with Will Calverly, slipped it home for a solid three goal cushion. A minute later, the Wild went on the power play and converted on a sharp crossing pass from AJ Vanderbeck across to Jasper Weatherby at 14:35, with Chris Jones collecting the secondary assist. The Wild pulled Anthony Yamnitsky for the extra skater late in the game but couldn’t manufacture a goal and the Chiefs held on for the 3-1 win. The Wild held a shots on goal margin of 30-26.

Wenatchee and Chilliwack meet Saturday at Town Toyota Center in Game 2 of the series. Games 3, 4, and 5 if necessary will all be played at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack beginning Tuesday. All Wild games are aired live locally on Sunny FM 93.9 and available online with pay-per-view at HockeyTV.com. Away game watch parties take place at Riverside Pub. Tickets are on sale now at the Wild Office, the Town Toyota Center Box Office, and online at: tickets.wenatcheewildhockey.com.

Stay up to date with the team all year long on Facebook (facebook.com/wenatcheewildhockey), Twitter (@WenatcheeWild1), YouTube (Wen Wild), Snapchat (wwildhockey), Instagram (Wenatchee_wild), and on the team’s official website (wenatcheewildhockey.com). This Thursday at 8:00 pm, catch a tape delayed Wild Game of the Week on NCW Life Channel. Download our free “Wenatchee Wild” app for your iOS or Android device. Home game photos are online at: wildhockeyphotos.com.

Official scoresheet can be viewed here: http://bchl.ca/game-summary?game_id=7809

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