PHOTO: PJ Fletcher (8) scores to tie the game at 1-1 in the second period in West Kelowna during playoff action Tuesday night. Wenatchee went on to a 6-2 win.
CREDIT: Tami Quan Photography
The Wenatchee Wild surrendered the first goal of the game but bounced back with five unanswered goals on the way to a 6-2 win at West Kelowna on Tuesday night to lift the Wild to a 2-1 best-of-seven series lead.
For the third game in a row, the Warriors scored first. The goal came at 6:08 of the first period when Cavin Tilsley snapped the puck off the faceoff from the left circle and drove it past Austin Park, prompting a goaltending change with Cal Sandquist being called into action. The Warriors outshot Wenatchee 11-8 in that opening frame.
Wenatchee stepped it up in the second period, tying the score at 1 less than two minutes in as PJ Fletcher backhanded a loose rebound into the net. Murphy Stratton was denied on a partial breakaway but he followed his rebound and set up the advancing Lucas Sowder who wired it home for a 2-1 lead. Stratton added a power play goal with nifty backhand flip from the top of the crease at 16:25, and Brandon Koch added to the pile with five seconds left in the middle frame following some nice forecheck work by Cristophe Tellier, and the Wild led 4-1 after 2.
In the final frame, the Wild added another power play goal on a Brandon Koch blast from the left point at 6:09, his second goal of the night. The Warriors had one power play in the game, and they made it count. After a shot from the lower left wing was denied by Sandquist, the rebound was swatted out of midair into the net by Lucas Cullen, trimming the Wild lead to 5-2. Wenatchee added one final tally when Josh Arnold tipped a Chad Sasaki shot over the blocker of Warrior goalie Connor Hopkins for the final 6-2 margin. Cal Sandquist earned the victory with 20 saves on 21 shots.
Game 4 is set for Wednesday night at 7:00 pm in West Kelowna, and Game 5 will be played Friday evening, also in West Kelowna. If Games 6 and 7 are required, they will be played on Sunday at 8:05 pm and Monday at 7:05 pm at Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee. All playoff seats are priced at $10.
Wenatchee playoff games are available for video streaming on HockeyTV, and will be broadcast live both locally and via internet stream on “NewsRadio 560 KPQ”, with the Pregame Shows starting 15 minutes prior to faceoff.