PHOTO CREDIT: Russ Alman / wildhockeyphotos.com
WILD DEFEAT PRINCE GEORGE; WIN STREAK AT SIX
The Wenatchee Wild (8-10-5) returned from their Christmas break Thursday night against the Prince George Spruce Kings (13-9-1) at Town Toyota Center. The Wild came in with a five-game win streak, while Prince George was winless in their last three prior to the break. Prince George won the lone prior meeting, a 4-1 affair in October at the BCHL Showcase.
The teams came in with the top two power play units in the BCHL, Prince George with a 31.3% conversion rate and the Wild right behind at 31.0%. Each unit had a couple of full power play chances in what ended up being a scoreless first period, where the Wild posted 11 shots on goal to 9 for the Spruce Kings.
In the second period, the Wild dominated in many ways, aided in part by four power plays plus one that carried over from the first period. Wenatchee outshot Prince George in the middle frame 22-4 but the game remained scoreless after 40 minutes of play.
On the eight Wenatchee power play, the Wild cashed in for a 1-0 lead at 8:23 of the third. Hunter Hastings tipped in a midpoint shot from Brett Oberle with Garrett Szydlowski collecting an assist on the play. The Spruce Kings got a friendly bounce off a skate in front of the Wild net to tie the game at 16:10. The game was destined for overtime, tied at 1-1. And while each team was afforded a power play chance in the extra session, it would take a shootout to decide the victor.
The shootout took four rounds to complete, and Wild goalie Tyler Shea denied all four shots. The only successful attempt was launched by Cade Stibbe, the final shot of the night that trickled in for the Wild 2-1 victory. Shea stopped 22 shots in regulation and overtime. The Wild outshot Prince George 40-23.
Wild Head Coach Chris Clark: “Proud of our guys for finding a way to get the two points tonight. The first game back after the break, you expect it to be a little choppy. Our guys did a great job of sticking with it. Both teams will be better tomorrow.”
The Wild (9-10-5) wrap up the homestand Friday night Dec. 31 at Town Toyota Center against the Spruce Kings (13-9-2). Game time will be 7:05 pm and there will be free beanies handed out while they last, sponsored by Plumb Perfect. Live radio coverage will be available on NewsRadio 560 KPQ with video available at bchltv.ca
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