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ROAD SWING OPENS WITH 5-1 WIN AT COQUITLAM

PHOTO CREDIT: HockeyTV Screenshot – Jasper Weatherby (with arms raised) scores his league leading 21st goal of the season on the power play Friday night in Coquitlam.

by Arch Ecker

The Wenatchee Wild picked up their third consecutive win on Friday night with a 5-1 win over the Coquitlam Express at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre in Coquitlam, BC, Canada.

The Wild were set behind the proverbial eight ball from the opening faceoff when a rarely called penalty was assessed against them, ruling that the team didn’t leave the ice quickly enough after warmups, and the Wild served a two-minute delay of game bench minor to start the game. Wenatchee killed it off, then responded by scoring the first goal of the game as Murphy Stratton redirected a Sam Hesler offering from left wing wall at 3:52, assisted by Cooper Zech.  Stratton then converted on a power play at 7:42 on a play set up by Chad Sasaki and AJ Vanderbeck putting Wenatchee up 2-0 after 1, outshooting the Express 17-5. With the Wild shorthanded past the midway point of the second period, the Express scored on a Haydn Delorme power play goal that ended a Coquitlam scoring drought against the Wild that had spanned 276:39, nearly 14 periods of hockey, covering parts of six games, including 4 consecutive shutouts and dated back to Nov. 4, 2016. Though the Wild were heavily outshooting Coquitlam, it was a scant one goal lead until late in the second period when Jasper Weatherby forced a turnover behind the Express net, stole the puck and wrapped it around under the goalie’s leg pad for a 3-1 lead that stood after two periods. Two early Express penalties in the third afforded Wenatchee a 5-on-3 power play, which Weatherby scored on set up by Sam Morton and Zak Galambos at 1:20 for a 4-1 lead. At 18:18, Cooper Zech slipped a wrister from the blue line through traffic from Vanderbeck and Lucas Sowder for the final 5-1 score. Wenatchee outshot the Express 47-14 on the night, and Austin Park notched his seventh win. Jasper Weatherby now has 21 goals on the year, most in the BCHL. For the Express, they’ve now dropped ten in a row.

Wenatchee (14-7-0-1) continues their weekend road swing through the Mainland Division with a Saturday night game in Langley (12-4-9-0), and a Sunday matinee in Surrey before returning home for a three-game set. Group ticket packages are on sale now at the Wild office by calling 509-888-7825.