PHOTO: The Wild fell in overtime on Saturday night in Penticton. Will open playoffs at home Saturday Feb. 29.
CREDIT: provided by Penticton Vees
The Wenatchee Wild had their early three goal lead erased in the third period, eventually falling 4-3 in overtime to the Interior Division top-seed Penticton Vees Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, BC. With the BCHL Regular Season closing out on Sunday, the Wild end up finishing in fourth place and will open the playoffs at home against the Vernon Vipers on Saturday and Sunday, Feb.29 and Mar.1.
The Wild got off to a strong start. Ethan Wolthers opened the scoring early, backhanding home the rebound of a Drew Bavaro shot from the right point. Matt Dorsey doubled the Wild lead at 9:55 of the first. Drake Usher got his shot through the net, and the rebound was poked first by Owen Bohn, then Sam Morton, and finally Matt Dorsey who nudged it across the line for the 2-0 lead. Wenatchee added to the first period pile as Drake Usher scored his fourth of the year, a shot from the left point that Matt Dorsey appeared to tip, but the puck actually had deflected in off the stick of a Vees defender in the slot. Drew Bavaro picked up his second assist of the period.
In the second period, Wenatchee had to kill off two penalties against a strong Penticton power play push, and the score remained 3-0 Wild heading into the third. Noah Altman was brilliant in net with several beautiful saves.
The Vees weren’t done. A bouncing puck went off the crossbar, then off a Wild defenders leg to where Jackson Niedermayer scored the first Penticton goal at 6:15 of the third, coming on their 36th shot on goal. Another net front scramble led to another Vees goal just over a minute later, inadvertently kicked in by a Wild defender. On a late power play, the Wild thought they had sealed the win with an empty net goal but behind the play, a whistle and penalty against Wenatchee negated the empty netter. The following faceoff quickly bounced to Lukas Sillinger who was able to lift it over Altman to knot the score and send the game to overtime. In the extra session, it was Jay O’Brien who finished off a 2-on-1 rush to complete the Vees comeback, defeating Wenatchee 4-3.
Wenatchee opens their best-of-seven series against the Vernon Vipers with Game 1 on Saturday at 7:05 pm. Game 2 is slated for Sunday at 7:05 pm before shifting to Vernon for Games 3 and 4. The games will be broadcast and streamed online with NewsRadio 560 KPQ, with the Pregame Shows airing at 6:45 pm. All games are video streamed live on HockeyTV. The full first round playoff schedule will be announced upon league approval.
Wild playoff tickets, group packages and Season Tickets are on sale now in the Wild office. Call 509-888-7825.