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(PHOTO: The teams shake hands following Wenatchee’s season-ending Game 7 loss on Monday night.)

The Wenatchee Wild erased series deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to force a Game 7 on Monday night in Salmon Arm. The Wild fell behind early in the game and a strong comeback attempt fell short, ending the Wild’s season.

Wenatchee played a strong first 15 minutes but a couple of second chance opportunities allowed Salmon Arm to score three goals in a three-minute span to lead 3-0 at the first intermission. The first half of the second period was hard fought and the Wild had an Anthony Cafarelli goal disallowed but the ‘Backs added a fourth goal at 11:59 and then cashed in on their only power play of the night for a 5-0 lead. Cade Littler scored toward the end of the period to give the Wild a jolt, assisted by Jakob Karpa and Mario Gasparini. The Wild kept coming in the third. Parker Murray ripped a shot home from Ean Somoza and Gasparini just over two minutes into the period. The Wild pulled the goalie with about 7 minutes to go and Hunter Hastings scored with the extra attacker on, assisted by Cade Stibbe and Gasparini who netted his third assist of the game. Salmon Arm eventually stuffed one into the empty Wild net for the 6-3 final score. Tyler Shea played the first period, and Andy Vlaha came on in the second. Shea closed out the final 1:40 allowing him to close out his junior career on the ice.

Wild Head Coach Chris Clark: “I couldn’t be prouder of this group for battling until the final buzzer. Not the outcome we wanted tonight but that’s the way it goes. We got it to a best of 1 and Salmon Arm got it done tonight. You have to give them credit too, they are a heck of a hockey team. I would like to thank our 20-year-olds who are aging out for all the hard work and dedication they put in this year. I wish them the best in the next stage of their career and know all of them will be successful. To the guys coming back we have to use tonight as motivation to get better this summer. Thank you Wild Nation for all the love and support all year. We couldn’t have gotten here without you.”

Season tickets for the 2022-23 season are on sale now at the Wild office. Call 509-888-7825 for details.

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