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PHOTO: Wenatchee celebrates their eighth goal of the game. The Wild won the game, 8-3. (CREDIT: Hannah Winkler)

by Arch Ecker

In the final exhibition tuneup for the Wenatchee Wild, their offense sprang to life in an 8-3 win over the Langley Rivermen to cap an undefeated preseason on Saturday afternoon.

It only took 1:39 for the Wild to get on the board, and they would never trail in the game as Brady Bjork put Wenatchee on top. At 8:39 AJ Vanderbeck began his assault on the Rivermen, giving the Wild a 2-0 edge and he added an assist on a Chad Sasaki power play goal at 19:20 and Wenatchee held a 3-0 lead after one period, outshooting Langley 17-6.

Langley’s Ryan Helliwell got the Rivermen on the board at 3:12 of the second, but Wenatchee regained their three-goal lead at 4:27 off the stick of Vanderbeck. At 5:51, Sean Gulka scored on a power play to make it 4-2 but Vanderbeck responded with another rocket, earning the hat trick at 8:04 and a 5-2 advantage. Brady Bjork collected his second goal of the game on a power play at 12:58, with AJ Vanderbeck adding his second assist and fifth point. The Wild outshot Langley 14-7 in the middle frame and led 6-2 after 40 minutes.

The hot hand of the game clearly belonged to Vanderbeck who scored his fourth of the afternoon at 8:51, and at 12:34 Lukas Svejkovsky made it 8-2. Langley’s Sean Gulka scored his second of the night for the final 8-3 margin. Jacob Acton made 20 saves in the win. Defenseman Brenden Rons collected 3 assists as blueliners contributed 7 of the 23 points racked up by the Wild.

Wenatchee outshot the Rivermen 42-23 and conclude the preseason undefeated. Langley began their exhibition season with three straight wins but took three consecutive losses to finish 3-3-0 in the preseason.

The Wild begin their regular season on the road at Merritt next Saturday, September 9. Wenatchee’s home opener is September 16 against the Vernon Vipers and a pregame tailgate party is planned.

Season ticket packages are on sale now at the Wild office by calling 509-888-7825. Single game tickets and group packages are available now. Fan bus trips are also now on sale, with the first one heading to the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack on Sept 23-24.

The Wenatchee Wild are celebrating their tenth season in the Valley. 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). Listen to every game on KCSY – Sunny FM 93.9. Download our free “Wenatchee Wild” app for your iOS or Android device.

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