WILD RALLY FALLS SHORT IN PENTICTON
The Wenatchee Wild closed out the weekend on Saturday night with a visit to the South Okanagan Events Centre to face the Conference leading Penticton Vees. It was the second meeting of the season, with the Vees squeezing a 3-2 overtime win on home ice on the BCHL’s Opening Night in October.
The Vees got off to a strong start, outshooting Wenatchee 14-4 over the first period. Penticton scratched the scoreboard at 10:23 for the 1-0 lead on a backhander from close range, and less than a minute later doubled their lead to 2-0 on a netfront redirect. The Vees added a third at 14:01 to take a 3-0 lead at the first intermission.
Penticton punched in their fourth of the game in the opening minute of the second period, but thirty seconds later, Wenatchee defenseman Brett Oberle beat the Vees goalie low on the glove to the Wild on the board, trailing 4-1 with the assist credited to Connor Overson. AT 6:13 of the period, Wild goalie Andy Vlaha lunged to cover a loose puck near the net but it got poked away and the puck was shoveled in for a 5-1 Vees lead, bringing Tyler Shea into service to relieve Vlaha. On Wenatchee’s second power play of the night, Jack Ivey logged his first goal of the season at 15:33 assisted by Owen Bohn and Mario Gasparini. It was a quick release wrister from the left circle. The Wild controlled most of the second period, outshooting the Vees 18-6 for a two period of 22-20, but Penticton still owned a three goal lead, now at 5-2.
The third was at times more wide open with both teams trading rushes, yet there were fewer shots overall, even up at seven each side. At 9:08 forward Cade Stibbe pulled Wenatchee within two goals, assisted by captain Quinn Emerson. The Wild opted for the extra attacker late in the period as they scrambled to try to pull even but the Vees were able to withstand the spirited Wenatchee rush and posted their ninth consecutive win by the score of 5-3. Jack Ivey earned Third Star of the Game honors. Tyler Shea was solid in relief, turning aside all 10 shots he faced in 31 minutes of ice.
In postgame comments, Wild Head Coach Chris Clark said, “The last forty minutes tonight was how we want to play Wenatchee Wild hockey. We showed what we are capable of and need to bring that for a full sixty minutes.”
The Wild (3-10-5) return to Canada next weekend for a rematch with the Merritt Centennials (1-13-1) on Saturday at 7 pm, then visit West Kelowna (13-7-0) Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm. Live radio coverage will be available on NewsRadio 560 KPQ with video available at bchltv.ca
The Wild return home to Town Toyota Center Dec 16-18 for a three-game slate with Merritt.
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