PHOTO: The Wild were defeated 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at Nanaimo.
CREDIT: HockeyTV screenshot
The Wenatchee Wild suited up for their final regular season road game in the Island Division on Sunday afternoon in Nanaimo, BC, and the hometown Clippers caught a couple of bounces and then added a pair of empty-netters late to defeat Wenatchee 5-2.
In a briskly paced first period, Wenatchee and Nanaimo skated to a scoreless tie with 7 shots a side. The Clippers scored first when Robby Drazner finished off a pass on the glove side of Daniel Chenard at 4:28 of the second period. At 17:33 of the second period, the Clippers caught a break as Chenard tried to backhand the puck around the boards but it deflected back out in front where MacKenzie Merriman was able to tap it in off the outstretched stick of the Wild goalie and it was 2-0 Clippers after two periods.
The Wild cut the deficit in half on a power play five minutes into the third, as Sam Morton blasted a shot from the top of the right circle to bring the Wild within one. Nanaimo got a friendly bounce at 14:12 on the power play, when a cross-ice pass from Trevor LeDonne ricocheted off the skate of Harrison Scott who was defending in the slot and slid past Chenard to regain Nanaimo’s two-goal cushion. Wenatchee rolled the dice and pulled the goalie for the extra attacker and the strategy paid off quickly when Brett Chorske tipped a Drew Bavaro midpoint shot through the Clipper goalie and it was a 3-2 hockey game with 1:47 to play. The Wild employed the empty net tactic but Mike Kennedy wired it 130 feet into the empty net with 1:20 left for a 4-2 lead. With nothing to lose, the Wild tried it again but this time, a Brian Adams shot was blocked into the left wing corner, and as the Wild tried to work it back up to the left point, it scooted past and made it all the way down into the Wild net for a 5-2 Nanaimo lead. The goal was incorrectly awarded to the Clippers goalie but he never touched the puck, as it actually last touched Nanaimo defender Aidan Hansen-Bukata before the Wild played it again. Chenard stopped 22 of 25 shots he faced, taking the loss.
Wenatchee (21-18-4) heads home to launch a four game homestand beginning Friday against Cowichan Valley (28-12-5). The game will be broadcast and streamed online with NewsRadio 560 KPQ, with the Pregame Show airing at 6:45 pm. All games are video streamed live on HockeyTV.