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PHOTO: Jasper Weatherby (14) tucks home the eventual game winning goal. CREDIT: HockeyTV screen capture

by Arch Ecker

After falling behind 2-0 early in the first period, the Wenatchee Wild power play connected on three consecutive opportunities to take the lead and continue on to a 5-3 win over the Merritt Centennials on Saturday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena in Merritt, BC.

The Centennials got on the board first on a Jack Vincent goal at 2:53, and :59 seconds later added to the lead on a Zach Zorn goal for a 2-0 advantage. A string of penalties against Merritt swung the momentum as Sam Morton buried a wrist shot across the body on the blocker side for a power play goal at 10:40, assisted by Lucas Sowder and Chad Sasaki. An interference call set up the game-tying power play goal, as AJ Vanderbeck ripped a low shot past the ankles of Merritt goalie Jacob Berger at 12:16. Then, with a 5-on-3 power play, Vanderbeck put Wenatchee on top with a top shelf blast at 15:27 set up by Cooper Zech and Chad Sasaki and the Wild led 3-2 at the end of the first period, outshooting the Centennials, 16-7.

The second period saw things even out a bit, with each side firing 10 shots on goal with a pair of power plays each, and no scoring. The eventual game-winning goal was set up by Brady Bjork, as he fed a soft pass to Jasper Weatherby who tucked a neat shot behind Berger at 13:56 of the third period. Lucas Sowder sealed the win with an empty net goal at 19:25, though Tyrell Buckley found the net from the right point at 19:39 for Merritt for the final 5-3 margin. Seth Eisele turned aside 25 shots to pick up the win in his Wild debut.

The Wild travel to Trail on Friday, September 15 for their next game. 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 (, Twitter (@WenatcheeWild1), YouTube (Wen Wild), Snapchat (wwildhockey), Instagram (Wenatchee_wild), and on the team’s official website ( Listen to every game on KCSY – Sunny FM 93.9. Download our free “Wenatchee Wild” app for your iOS or Android device.