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WILD CELEBRATE HOME OPENER WITH 2-1 VICTORY

PHOTO: Brian Adams (7) celebrates his eventual game winning goal on Friday night in Wenatchee. The Wild won, 2-1.
CREDIT: Russ Alman / Digital Media Northwest

The Wenatchee Wild opened the home portion of their 2019-20 BCHL Schedule with a 2-1 win over the visiting Vernon Vipers on Friday night in front of better than 2,000 fans at Town Toyota Center.

The Wild scored first for the first time in three games this season at the 7:36 mark of the first period. Jerrett Overland held the puck in at the right point, sending it down into the corner for Nico Chmelevski. Chmelevski fed it out front for Jack Bayless who snapped it home across the goalie’s body to the blocker side, and the Wild held the 1-0 lead at the end of the first period.

Wenatchee doubled their lead in the second period when Nick Cafarelli poked the puck ahead to Brian Adams in the neutral zone, creating a 2-on-1 rush. Adams, a left-handed shooter drove down the left side and wired a shot past the glove hand of Viper goalie Max Palaga for a 2-0 lead at the 4:01 mark that stood through 40 minutes of play.

The Vipers cut into the Wild lead at 7:43 of the third when Connor Sleeth drove down the left wing and cut hard to the net, where his shot attempt was denied. However, in the course of making the save, Wild goalie Daniel Chenard was sprawled out and his stick was knocked behind the net. The rebound try was a no-look backhander from Landon Fuller that slipped through and made it a one-goal game. Six seconds later, the Wild were forced to kill off a penalty which they did successfully. Vernon pulled their goalie for the extra attacker with 1:33 left to play and created a couple of decent chances but the Wild held on to claim the 2-1 Home Opener win. Daniel Chenard improved his save pct. to .931, turning aside 27 of 28 shots. The Wild remain tied for first place in the Interior Division with Penticton, who improved to 3-0-0 with a 7-3 win at Merritt on Friday.

Wenatchee (3-0-0) hosts Vernon (1-1-0) in the second game of the weekend set Saturday Sept. 14 at 7:05 pm. It’s “Cowbell Night” sponsored by AG Supply with free cowbells being handed out to the first 1,000 fans. The game will be broadcast live on NewsRadio 560 KPQ and streamed live on HockeyTV.