PHOTO: Goalie Daniel Chenard and defenseman Drake Usher defend the Wild goal during Game 3 action.
CREDIT: Roger Knox / Vernon Morning Star
Tuesday night in Vernon, BC, Canada, the Wenatchee Wild and Vernon Vipers traded goals in the first 72 seconds of play but rather than develop into a full-blown track meet, things tightened up down the stretch as the Vipers secured the win with a late empty netter for a 4-2 win and a 2-1 series lead.
Vernon opened the scoring in the first minute of play, winning a faceoff in the Wild zone following an icing call back to the point where Landon Fuller powered a low shot through a screen that found the back of the net. 22 seconds later, Sam Morton won a faceoff in the Vipers zone, and Tanner Main slid it across to the midpoint where Noah Lugli unloaded a low hard shot that tied the game at 1.
The second period is where the damage was done. Vernon had two power plays and cashed in on both of them to take a 3-1 lead. Matt Kowalski snapped a wrister home on a pass through the crease, scoring stick side at 13:12, and Ryan Shostak got a piece of a shot to bounce it past Daniel Chenard at 15:37 and the 3-1 lead stood after 40 minutes.
The momentum swung back Wenatchee’s way early in the third. Harrison Scott saucered a nice pass to Ethan Wolthers who raced around the net from the right wing and threw it out front for Nick Cafarelli who buried it to make it a 3-2 game at the 4:07 mark. Wenatchee pulled the goalie for the extra attacker, but a high sticking penalty set the Wild down a man. The Wild still managed to get pressure in the Vipers zone late but a Vernon empty-netter at 19:35 sealed the deal and a 4-2 win. Shots on goal were even at 26 each. The Vipers went 3/5 on the power play, and Wenatchee 0/2.
Game 4 is also in Vernon, set for Wednesday at 7:00 pm. The game will be broadcast and streamed online with NewsRadio 560 KPQ, with the Pregame Show airing at 6:45 pm. All games are video streamed live on HockeyTV. Our official Watch Party is at Bob’s Burgers and Brew in East Wenatchee.
Game 5 is in Wenatchee on Friday March 6 at 7:05 pm. Tickets are on sale now. Fans can visit the Wild office or call 509-888-7825 to get their seats. There will also be $1 hot dogs, beer, and Pepsi products. In addition to Wild playoff tickets, group packages and Season Tickets are available in the Wild office.