GAME BOXSCORE | WATCH ON BCHL TV
WENATCHEE, Wash. – Good things certainly do come in threes.
For the Wenatchee Wild, it was three goals in a row in the first period – two that came on shots from Lukas McCloskey (Irvine, Calif./Anaheim Jr. Ducks U16) above the faceoff circles and tipped off of Luke Weilandt (Northbrook, Ill./Green Bay Gamblers) on their way to the net – and a three-game winning streak after a 3-1 defeat of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Wednesday night at Town Toyota Center.
The wait was not a long one for the Wenatchee fans – less than three minutes into the contest, McCloskey’s shot from the right point ticked off of Weilandt in the slot, banking past goaltender Matthew Tovell and rattling around the net for a 1-0 Wild lead.
The wait was even shorter on the first power play of the night for Wenatchee – with Nathan Mackie in the penalty box to serve a holding call at 5:21 of the first period, Cade Littler (East Wenatchee, Wash./Wenatchee Wild) found Micah Berger (Bethesda, Md./Sioux Falls Stampede) at the left edge of the slot for a wrist shot, and a 2-0 lead just eight seconds into the man-advantage.
Weilandt was ready to close out another McCloskey chance a short time later, deflecting in another long-distance try with 3:35 left in the period and stretching the lead to three goals.
From there, Salmon Arm got its share of chances, capitalizing on one just over five minutes into the second period – Jayden Grier’s wraparound chance on Owen Millward’s (Davis, Calif./Janesville Jets) glove side was blocked, but the second chance was left out front for Reid Varkonyi, who swatted it into the top of the net to drop the lead back to 3-1.
Salmon Arm finished the night with a 41-32 shots-on-goal advantage, including a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes, but Millward would backstop his group with a 40-save performance and his third straight victory, setting a personal season-best in the process. Tovell made 29 saves for the Silverbacks, taking the loss along the way. Wenatchee added a 1-for-3 mark to its power play haul, wiping away all four Salmon Arm power plays along the way and picking up a power play marker in nine of its last 11 games.
Weilandt had a memorable performance with his first career multi-goal outing, running his point streak to six straight games, while McCloskey enjoyed his first career multi-point game as well.
Wenatchee moved its record to 6-10-0-1 ahead of a two-game road swing, while the Silverbacks ended a four-game winning streak and slipped back to 11-6-0-1 for the year. Though early in the season, the win was an important one for the Wild, pushing them ahead of the Merritt Centennials for eighth place in the Interior Conference standings.
Wenatchee heads on the road over the weekend and again next Wednesday, starting with a trip to Cranbrook to square off with the Bucks on Saturday evening. The opening puck drop at Western Financial Place is scheduled for 6 p.m., with live coverage on Newsradio 560 KPQ and streaming coverage on BCHL TV.
The Wild return home to face the Trail Smoke Eaters on November 25 for the team’s Black Friday matchup. To purchase tickets to that game or any upcoming home game, call 509-888-7825 or click here. Updated news and information on Wenatchee Wild hockey are always available at www.wenatcheewildhockey.com, or through the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Salmon Arm 0 1 0 – 1
Wenatchee 3 0 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Wenatchee, Weilandt 7 (McCloskey, Somoza), 2:56. 2, Wenatchee, Berger 3 (Littler, Hejduk), 5:29 (PP). 3, Wenatchee, Weilandt 8 (Murray, McCloskey), 16:25. Penalties-Lambert Sa (warm-up violation. ), 0:00; Berger Wen (warm-up violation. ), 0:00; Mackie Sa (holding the stick), 5:21; Valdez Wen (roughing), 17:56.
2nd Period-4, Salmon Arm, Varkonyi 2 (Grier, Gayfer), 5:07. Penalties-served by Welsh Sa (too many men on the ice), 6:00; Lambert Sa (tripping), 12:18; Bohnet Wen (interference), 17:48.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-McCloskey Wen (tripping), 2:30; Lavigne Sa (roughing), 10:55; Murray Wen (slashing), 10:55; Valdez Wen (tripping), 13:16.
Shots on Goal-Salmon Arm 10-16-15-41. Wenatchee 16-10-6-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Salmon Arm 0 / 4; Wenatchee 1 / 3.
Goalies-Salmon Arm, Tovell 8-5-0-1 (32 shots-29 saves). Wenatchee, Millward 4-5-0-0 (41 shots-40 saves).
Referees-Wyman Flynn (51), Kacey Walker (83).
Linesmen-Chris Hastings (132), Thomas Williams (125).