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Wild Defeat Penticton 2-1, Hand BCHL’s Last Unbeaten Team First Loss


WENATCHEE, Wash. – For a game that will go down in the record books as one of 54 in a regular season full of highs and lows, Friday’s Wenatchee Wild game at Town Toyota Center felt like – and will be remembered as – somewhat more than that.

Christian Kim (Torrance, Calif./Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U) scored two goals as the Wild handed the Penticton Vees their first loss of the 2022-23 season, gutting out a 2-1 victory in front of more than 2,100 fans. The defeat ended a Vees winning streak that reached 40 games including the team’s Fred Page Cup playoff championship last season and 25 regular-season contests dating back to the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

Kim put the Wild in front at 11:06 of the period by gathering up a missed clearing attempt and driving it to the net from the right-wing wall, pushing the puck to his backhand side before depositing it past the right leg of Penticton netminder Luca Di Pasquo. The 1-0 Wenatchee led held into the third period despite a 26-14 shots-on-goal advantage for the Vees over the first 40 minutes.

His second goal came four-and-a-half minutes into the third, tossing one on the net from the right-wing faceoff circle and rattling it inside the back post to double the lead.

The Vees did cut into the lead with 7:08 remaining, on a collision at the front of the Wenatchee net – with three players piled into the cage, including goaltender Owen Millward (Davis, Calif./Janesville Jets), Spencer Smith was able to get the last touch on the puck and push it over the goal line to trim the Wild lead to 2-1. The Wild nearly scored into the Vees’ empty net several times after Di Pasquo was pulled with 1:50 remaining, but had to settle for the one-goal victory.

Penticton closed out the night with a 44-19 margin on shots, including an 18-5 run over the final 20 minutes. Millward set a new personal best in a BCHL uniform, making 43 saves and earning his fifth win of the season. Kim earned his first multi-goal game, while Jason Stefanek (Yorba Linda, Calif./Mount St. Charles 16U) notched assists on both goals for his third multi-point game of the year. Defenseman Dane Westen (Castle Rock, Colo./Vernon Vipers) took the primary assist on Kim’s first goal, notching his first junior point in the process.

“It took a great deal of effort and commitment,” said associate head coach Tom Rudrud. “When we talk to our boys every day, all year, we talk about finishing hits, making clean tape-to-tape passes, taking care of the puck, not turning pucks over and blocking shots. We had stellar goaltending – Owen was absolutely outstanding. That’s a very, very good team that we played tonight, and they’re not going to lose too many games the way they play.”

Wenatchee also earned the win despite going without a power play in the contest, killing off all three Penticton power plays against the BCHL’s number-one unit on the man-advantage. The victory snaps a 10-game head-to-head losing skid, giving the Wild their first win over the Vees since December 4, 2019. The last Vees loss came 253 days ago, a 5-3 loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters in the opening game of the 2022 Fred Page Cup playoffs.

The Wild climbed to 10-13-0-2 with the win, snapping a four-game winless streak. The Vees dropped to 24-1 on the season ahead of a visit to the Cranbrook Bucks on Saturday.

Wenatchee continues a three-game Interior Conference homestand on Sunday against the West Kelowna Warriors. Sunday’s game is the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss game, presented by Fred Meyer. The opening puck drop at Town Toyota Center is scheduled for 6 p.m., with live coverage on Newsradio 560 KPQ and BCHL TV.

To purchase tickets to Sunday’s game or any upcoming home game, call 509-888-7825 or click here. Updated news and information on Wild hockey are always available at and on the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


Penticton 0 0 1 – 1
Wenatchee 1 0 1 – 2

1st Period-1, Wenatchee, Kim 4 (Westen, Stefanek), 11:06. Penalties-Hejduk Wen (interference), 18:22.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

3rd Period-2, Wenatchee, Kim 5 (Stefanek), 4:32. 3, Penticton, Smith 5   12:52. Penalties-Nagle Wen (tripping), 5:08; Littler Wen (holding), 8:09.

Shots on Goal-Penticton 11-15-18-44. Wenatchee 6-8-5-19.
Power Play Opportunities-Penticton 0 / 3; Wenatchee 0 / 0.
Goalies-Penticton, Di Pasquo 17-1-0-0 (19 shots-17 saves). Wenatchee, Millward 5-6-0-1 (44 shots-43 saves).
Referees-Kacey Walker (83), Wyman Flynn (51).
Linesmen-Thomas Williams (125), Eric McLaughlin (115).