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PHOTO: Goalie Daniel Chenard minds the net as the Wild defeated the Vernon Vipers 5-2 at home on Friday night. 
CREDIT: Russ Alman / Digital Media Northwest

With Interior Division playoff seeding and home ice advantage being hotly contested by three teams heading into the final days of the BCHL’s regular season, Friday’s matchup between the Wild and the Vernon Vipers carried extra weight, as Wenatchee entered the game trailing the Vipers by one point. The 5-2 home win for the Wild moves them one point ahead of fifth place Vernon, and one point behind third place Salmon Arm. The regular season concludes on Feb. 23.

In the first period, each team had surges of sustained pressure in the early minutes. Wenatchee broke through when Noah Lugli drove home a rebound at 9:48. Dylan Herzog drilled a heavy snipe off the post and in high on the glove side on a power play to give the Wild a 2-0 lead.

Early in the second period, a Wild turnover was converted into an unassisted Vernon score, but Sam Morton forced a turnover on the penalty kill and backhanded it home to put Wenatchee ahead 3-1. Later in the second, Ethan Wolthers scored, driving up the left wing, cutting hard to the net and putting his shot off the goalie’s stick side shoulder and in for a 4-1 Wild advantage.

Vernon got another bounce in the third, helping Dawson Holt bury his second of the game for the Vipers with just over 5 minutes left to play. Vernon pulled their goalie for the extra attacker with 2:29 remaining, but Ethan Wolthers scored into the empty net with 1:01 left as the Wild closed out the 5-2 win. Daniel Chenard stopped 27 shots in all, including a handful of game changing key stops in the opening period. The win is the fifth consecutive for the Wild.

Wenatchee (28-22-4) plays their final home of the season against Chilliwack (25-18-11) Saturday at 7:05p. 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.

Wild playoff ticket packages and Banquet Tickets are on sale now in the Wild office. Call 509-888-7825.