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The Wenatchee Wild (3-9-4) traveled to Merritt, BC on Friday night to face the winless Merritt Centennials (0-13-1) at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. It was the first home game for the Cents after the entire town was evacuated following historic flooding across the area.

Wenatchee opened the game shorthanded after a penalty for failing to clear the ice on time following warmups. Wenatchee held Merritt without a shot in the opening two minutes of penalty kill time for the Wild, but it was Merritt who collected the games first goal on a rebound at 8:32. The Wild outshot Merritt 15-9 in the opening period but trailed 1-0.

Wenatchee kept up the pressure in the second period and were rewarded with a game-tying goal from Ean Somoza at 9:20, assisted by Travis Bohnet. Merritt answered quickly to tie the game at 2-2 a mere :26 seconds later. The Wild held a 35-20 shots advantage through 40 minutes.

Merritt regained the lead 1:08 into the third. The Wild converted on a power play midway through as Cade Littler knocked home a rebound on the doorstep, assisted by Mario Gasparini and Owen Bohn and the game was tied at 3-3. The Wild held Merritt to just 3 shots on goal in the third while firing 12 at their net, but the game would head into a 3v3 overtime session. The Wild fired 6 shots on the Merritt net in the OT period but it was Merritt’s third shot that found twine as Ben Ward earned the hat trick with 1:06 left in the extra frame leading the Centennials to their first win of the season, snapping a 14-game winless streak.

After the game, Wild Head Coach Chris Clark stat, “Tonight was a tough one. We probably deserved more than one point but we also shot ourselves in the foot too many times as well. We will regroup, get our rest and get ready for Penticton on Saturday.”

The Wild (3-9-5) wrap up the weekend road trip on Saturday at 6 pm when Wenatchee returns to Penticton (16-2-0) where they opened the season in October with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vees. Live radio coverage will be available on NewsRadio 560 KPQ with video available at

The Wild return home Dec 16-18 for a three game slate with Merritt.

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