A crowd of nearly 3,000 fans in Town Toyota Center for “Pink at The Rink” Night had to wait until midway through the third period to cheer for the first Wild goal, but it was worth the wait as it spawned another four in a row to help the Wild erase a 2-0 deficit on the way to a 5-2 triumph over Penticton, and a season-high seventh consecutive win.
The first period saw Wenatchee tilt the ice in their favor, outshooting Penticton and heavily pressuring the Vees zone. The Vees, however, scored two quick goals in the span of 1:19 late in the first period, prompting a Wild timeout and goaltending swap, and took a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
The second period saw Penticton keep the momentum, outshooting Wenatchee 9-3. The Wild were starting to get some chances, though, and it seemed only a matter of time before one of those chances would pan out. At 10:52 of the third, one did. Brian Adams drove down the right side and passed the puck through the slot to the left wing where Nathan Iannone took it and slung it back across to Cristophe Tellier, who stopped the pass with his skate and tucked the puck under the right leg pad to get the Wild on the board, trailing 2-1. At 14:40, the Wild found the equalizer as Iannone redirected a Jacob Modry shot to knot the score at 2-2. Less than a minute later, Matt Dorsey collected the puck deep in his own end, took off from the corner cutting across to his left through the neutral zone, then cut hard to the net and tucked the shot in behind the goalie for a 3-2 lead. The Wild added two empty net goals, both scored by Matt Gosiewski for the eventual 5-2 victory. Cal Sandquist stopped all 14 shots he faced in relief for the win.
The win pulls Wenatchee (42 pts) to a single point behind the Vees (43 pts) for first place in the Interior Division, tied with Merritt (42 pts) who won 5-4 on the road at West Kelowna.
Wenatchee (20-10-2) heads north Saturday night to face Penticton (20-9-1-2) at the South Okanagan Event Centre at 6:00 pm. The game will be available for video streaming on HockeyTV, and will be broadcast live both locally and via internet stream on “NewsRadio 560 KPQ”, with the Pregame Show starting at 5:45 pm.