Photo Credit: Russ Alman/WildHockeyPhotos.com
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SALMON ARM, British Columbia – Friday’s game in Merritt was a special-teams smorgasbord for the Wenatchee Wild, going 2-for-4 on the power play and killing off all four Centennials chances. Saturday in Salmon Arm, however, the special-teams surge belonged to the Silverbacks.
Salmon Arm scored twice on the man-advantage in the second period and once in the third to earn a 3-2 win over the Wild in a pivotal British Columbia Hockey League Interior Conference matchup, with five teams in the standings entering the night separated by just five points.
One night after firing off the first 12 shots of the game against the Centennials, Wenatchee posted the first eight shots of the night in Saturday’s outing. Garrett Szydlowski (Brighton, Mich./Wenatchee Wild) dented the scoreboard first, rippling the net with a back-post wrist shot past Matthew Tovell 12:24 into the contest.
The Wild came out of the intermission with a 15-6 shots-on-goal margin, and padded the lead 77 seconds out of the break on a point shot from Lucas Marshall (Orange County, Calif./Anaheim Jr. Ducks 18U), who rang the wrister off the iron and into the net for a 2-0 advantage.
Capitalizing on a pair of power play chances helped the Silverbacks stay in the game in the second – C.J. Foley’s goal down the slot with 9:15 left in the period came on a two-man advantage, while Hayden Stavroff found Casy Laylin for a backdoor one-timer to tie it with 3:24 on the second-period clock.
Salmon Arm posted a 14-5 advantage on shots in the second period, and Laylin struck in transition from the slot at 8:33 of the third to put the Silverbacks in front to stay.
“We’ve got to kill those off,” said Wild head coach Chris Clark. “5-on-5, we were definitely the better team. That one’s frustrating, because you’re up 2-0 on the road, in a difficult place to win. We can’t take seven penalties there, and we have to get some kills – our penalty kill has been really good this year, especially lately. Tonight, we killed (penalties) too much.”
Laylin factored into all three Salmon Arm goals, while Stavroff and Isaac Lambert ended the night with two assists apiece. In all, the Silverbacks finished 3-for-7 on the power play, while the Wild did not capitalize on five opportunities.
Saturday’s game saw Wenatchee’s 10-game run with a power play goal come to an end, as well as Ean Somoza’s (Simi Valley, Calif./Wenatchee Wild) 12-game point streak and a six-game goal-scoring streak for Luke Weilandt (Northbrook, Ill./Green Bay Gamblers).
Tovell earned his 22nd win of the season, making 29 saves on 31 Wenatchee shots. Andy Vlaha (Snohomish, Wash./Wenatchee Wild) made 22 saves, falling to 14-13-0-1 for the season.
The Wild dropped to 25-22-1-2 for the year, while Salmon Arm rose to 26-17-4-2. The Wild open a four-game homestand Friday against the Merritt Centennials to wrap up the regular season, with the opening puck drop at Town Toyota Center set for 7:05 p.m. Live coverage is available on Newsradio 560 KPQ and BCHL TV.
Friday’s game is St. Hatrick’s Night, presented by Supreme Lending – to purchase tickets to that game or any upcoming home game, call 509-888-7825 or click here. 2023-24 season tickets are also on sale now, as are ticket packages for the 2023 BCHL Fred Page Cup playoffs, presented locally by Windermere Real Estate. Updated news and information on Wild hockey are always available at www.wenatcheewildhockey.com and on the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Wenatchee 1 1 0 – 2
Salmon Arm 0 2 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Wenatchee, Szydlowski 9 12:24. Penalties-Santa Juana Sa (high-sticking), 2:12; Somoza Wen (cross-checking), 9:12; McCloskey Wen (holding), 13:04; Steele Sa (tripping), 15:58.
2nd Period-2, Wenatchee, Marshall 2 (Littler, Berger), 1:17. 3, Salmon Arm, Foley 6 (Laylin, Mackie), 10:45 (PP). 4, Salmon Arm, Laylin 5 (Stavroff, Lambert), 16:36 (PP). Penalties-Somoza Wen (blow to the head minor, misconduct), 5:14; Laylin Sa (hooking), 5:31; Westen Wen (holding), 8:59; Jones Wen (hooking), 9:42; Nagle Wen (high-sticking), 14:39; Boilard Sa (tripping), 17:05.
3rd Period-5, Salmon Arm, Laylin 6 (Lambert, Stavroff), 8:33 (PP). Penalties-Foley Sa (hooking), 3:39; Somoza Wen (slashing), 7:59.
Shots on Goal-Wenatchee 15-5-11-31. Salmon Arm 6-14-5-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Wenatchee 0 / 0; Salmon Arm 3 / 0.
Goalies-Wenatchee, Vlaha 14-13-0-1 (25 shots-22 saves). Salmon Arm, Tovell 22-15-3-2 (31 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Nick Panter (15), Josh Albinati (46).
Linesmen-Ethan Crawford (107), Derek Hatch (16).