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GAME RECAP – FRI DEC 17, 2021 vs MERRITT

PHOTO: Cade Littler (15) posted a hat trick on the way to a 6-2 Wild win. CREDIT: Russ Alman / Digital Media Northwest

CADE LITTLER POWERS WILD TO 6-2 WIN

The Wenatchee Wild (5-10-5) continued their five game homestand on Friday night against the Merritt Centennials (1-18-1) at Town Toyota Center. It was the fourth meeting of the year between the clubs, with Wenatchee winning two of the first three. The Wild came in riding a season high three-game win streak, while Merritt had dropped five straight.

It was the night of the annual Teddy Bear Toss game, where Wild fans toss stuffed animals onto the ice after the first Wild goal for collection and distribution to those in need in our community. Cade Littler did the honors this season, netting the goal at 7:30 of the opening period, assisted by Quinn Emerson and Landon Parker. Hundreds of bears and other stuffed animals (including an oversized narwhal!) littered the ice. Later, with the Wild on the penalty kill, Cade Stibbe nailed a shorthanded goal for a 2-0 lead at 13:01, assisted by Owen Bohn. As was the case in Thursday’s game, Merritt was able to cut the 2-1 lead in half, the goal coming at 17:18. Wenatchee launched 23 shots at the Centennials while Merritt fired 11 at Tyler Shea.

Wenatchee’s BCHL-leading power play converted in the early going of the second period, with Cade Littler notching his second of the game, batting the puck out of midair with the assist going to Owen Bohn for a 3-1 Wild lead.  At 12:52 the Wild added a bit more cushion as Ben Ivey deflected home a Travis Bohnet shot from the left point, the secondary assist going to Hunter Hastings. Merritt pulled to within 4-2 on an oddly bouncing puck near the goal mouth that snuck in and the period closed out with a 4-2 Wild lead. Shots through 2 periods favored Wenatchee 51-20.

The Wild kept up the pressure in the third, regaining their 3-goal lead with a power play goal at 15:38 of the period on a shot ripped home by Owen Bohn and assisted by Ean Somoza and Cade Littler. Late in the period while playing 4-on-4, Cade Littler capped off an impressive night posting his second hat trick of the season, lifting a rocket over the glove hand of the Merritt goalie for the 6-2 score that was the final. Garrett Szydlowski got the assist. Tyler Shea stopped 35 of 37 shots for the win.

Wenatchee set a BCHL-era franchise high shots total, with an astounding 71 shots on goal. The previous record was set on Dec.7, 2016 with a 64-shot game at Coquitlam that ended up being a 12-0 win. The Wild have eclipsed to 60 shot mark four times since joining the BCHL in 2015.

Wild Head Coach Chris Clark: “I was proud of our guys for staying in the battle tonight. Their goalie was doing his best to frustrate us but we stayed with it.” He added, “Tyler (Shea) made some key stops for us tonight as well.”

The Wild (6-10-5) are back Saturday night at Town Toyota Center (7:05 pm) for the finale of the 3-game set with Merritt (1-19-1). It’s Ugly Sweater Night sponsored by Dick’s Heating and Air. Fans will have a chance at part of a $500 cash prize! Our Giving Tree will be on the concourse once again to benefit people in our community who need a hand during the holidays. Live radio coverage will be available on NewsRadio 560 KPQ with video available at bchltv.ca

Follow the Wild on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. Official website: wenatcheewildhockey.com