PHOTO: Nick Cafarelli (11) buries the eventual game winning goal in the second period on Friday night in Merritt.
CREDIT: HockeyTV screen shot
The Wenatchee Wild played their first of 58 scheduled regular season games on Friday night at Nicola Valley Memorial Arena in Merritt, BC. The hometown Centennials scored first but the Wild rallied to claim a 3-1 Opening Night win.
The first period was a see-saw affair as momentum seemed to swing from one side to the other and back again. The Centennials scored first, a one-timer power play goal by Vincent Guy from the right circle. The Wild answered back to tie the game when newly appointed captain Brian Adams knocked home the rebound of a Tyler Young shot, assisted by Nick Cafarelli at 18:24 of the first period. In the second period, Wenatchee took the lead on an end-to-end rush as Cafarelli slipped the puck into the top part of the net through the narrowest of gaps for a 2-1 lead. Defenseman Jerrett Overland and goalie Daniel Chenard collected assists on the play for setting up the breakout. The finishing touch was applied by Brett Chorske who found the empty Merritt net with :48 seconds left in regulation as the Centennials opted to employ the extra attacker. Hunter Hastings helped break up the play that set up the Chorske goal. In his Wild debut, goalie Daniel Chenard stopped 29 of 30 shots to collect the win.
Wenatchee wraps up the short two-game road swing on Saturday night in West Kelowna against the Warriors at Royal LePage Place at 6 pm. The game will be streamed live on HockeyTV and broadcast live on SportsRadio 1340 The Hawk. The Home Opening Weekend for the Wild follows on Friday Sept. 13 and Saturday Sept. 14 against the Vernon Vipers at Town Toyota Center.