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WILD EDGED BY VERNON

PHOTO CREDIT: Russ Alman / wildhockeyphotos.com

The Wenatchee Wild opened a short two-game homestand on Thursday night at Town Toyota Center against the Vernon Vipers. It was the fourth of five meetings of the season between the two clubs. Wenatchee swept the first two meetings in Vernon in early November, and the Vipers took the third meeting in Vernon on Tuesday.  Vernon has been hot over the last 13 games, going 11-1-1.

The first goal of the game was scored by the Vipers at the 12:01 mark. After a very close chance for the Wild at the other end, a bouncing puck skipped past the Wild defense and set up Vernon for the go-ahead tally. The Wild outshot Vernon 11-10 over the first 20 minutes.

A Vipers power play goal stretched their lead to 2-0 at 6:19 of the second, snapping a string of 14 consecutive successful penalty kills for the Wild. Wenatchee responded at 8:12 as Jakob Karpa netted his second of the season, assisted by Quinn Emerson and Cade Stibbe. It remained 2-1 at the second intermission.

Vernon went up 3-1 at the 1:48 mark of the third period, then Garrett Szydlowski pulled the Wild back to within one at 11:29 with his 9th of the year. A late empty net goal for the Vipers made it 4-2, though Szydlowski was able to bury a heavy wrister from above the left circle with :15 seconds left, assisted by David Hejduk and Jakob Karpa for the eventual 4-3 final. The Wild outshot Vernon 32-31 on the night. Tyler Shea went the distance in net for Wenatchee.

Wild Head Coach Chris Clark said in postgame comments, “We need to take better care of the puck. We turned over way too many pucks to be successful. Give Vernon credit, they won a majority of 1-on-1 battles. Looking forward to seeing our response on Friday.”

The Wild (14-19-5) close out the homestand against Vernon on Friday (7:05p). The game features “Military Appreciation Night” sponsored by Guild Mortgage.

Live radio coverage will be available on NewsRadio 560 KPQ with video available at bchltv.ca.

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