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PHOTO: The Wild celebrate their third period goal on Wednesday night in Vernon. CREDIT: HockeyTV Screen Shot

by Arch Ecker

After surrendering the first goal of the night in the first period, the Wenatchee Wild came back to claim a 2-1 win in Vernon, BC against the division leading Vipers on Wednesday night.

Midway through the first period, the hometown Vernon Vipers grabbed a 1-0 lead when Jimmy Lambert snuck a shot that squeezed past goalie Austin Park, and the 1-0 advantage held through the opening period. In a penalty laden second period, Wenatchee was :04 seconds into a power play after overlapping infractions had created a 4-on-4 situation. Sam Morton took a shot from the top of the right circle that bounced off the stick blade of Viper forward Niko Karamanis and fluttered past goalie Ty Taylor for a game-tying power play goal, assisted by Noah Kim and Chad Sasaki. The Wild had a significant power play chance in the third period when they had nearly a full minute of 5-on-3 power play time, followed by another three minutes of a double minor but the Viper penalty killers effectively kept the score knotted up. The Wild scored the game winner when AJ Vanderbeck set up Lucas Sowder who trailed on the 4-on-2 zone entry and Sowder’s shot trickled through the goalie and was finished off by a sweep of Vanderbeck’s stick for a 2-1 lead that withstood the final 28.8 seconds of Viper pressure with the goalie pulled. For Wenatchee, goalie Austin Park was tremendous, with 21 saves to earn his twelfth win of the season.

Wenatchee (18-8-1-1) will stay in British Columbia in preparation for a Friday night rematch at Salmon Arm (12-13-3-0), then a Saturday night finale at West Kelowna (16-12-1-0). The next home game is Wednesday, December 6 at 6:30 pm against the Trail Smoke Eaters. Group ticket packages for all games are on sale now at the Wild office by calling 509-888-7825.