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EXPRESS RALLY TO TOP WENATCHEE 4-2

PHOTO: Brian Adams (7) and Sam Morton (19) attack in the Coquitlam zone on Sunday night. 
CREDIT: Garrett James Photography

The Wenatchee Wild had a tall task before them on Sunday night. Travel 240 miles on Sunday after playing Saturday night, dress a lineup that’s missing a full forward line with 6 players out injured, and face the currently top ranked Coquitlam Express who were off Saturday night, and haven’t lost a game at home all year. With circumstances stacked against them, the Wild came ready to play.

Coquitlam did get on the board first when Connor Gregga slipped a shot through traffic after the puck bounced his way off a Wild skate for a 1-0 Express lead. Wenatchee responded to tie the game when Sam Morton collected his first goal since rejoining the team five days prior. Brian Adams chipped the puck from his own zone ahead to a streaking Ethan Wolthers on the right wing, and Wolthers drove to the net before sliding a pass across to Morton who buried it from the left side at 12:47 of the first. Later in the same period, Drew Bavaro netted his sixth of the year on a 5-on-3 power play with a blistering shot high over the blocker of Express goalie Jack Watson and the Wild led 2-1 after twenty minutes.

Coquitlam tied it up in the second as Will Margel tapped in a Greg Lapointe pass across the top of the crease, then took the lead at 13:34 as Ethan O’Rourke was able to cut hard to the net from the left wing, sliding the puck around and behind Daniel Chenard. Connor Gregga scored his second of the night on a third power play for the final 4-2 margin as the Express won their ninth in a row, improving to 18-0-0 in their building this season. The Express win marked the first time they had beaten Wenatchee since Oct. 21, 2016, a total of nine games. Coquitlam visits the Wolves Den on Feb. 1.

Wenatchee (16-14-4) concludes their road trip Wednesday night at Trail (19-12-3) at 7 pm. The game will be broadcast and streamed online with NewsRadio 560 KPQ, with the Pregame Show airing at 6:45 pm. All games are video streamed live on HockeyTV. Watch Party is at Bob’s Burgers and Brew in East Wenatchee.