PHOTO: The Wild defense has stiffened, holding their opponent to just two goals in the last 124 minutes. Wenatchee now leads the best-of-seven series, 3-2.
CREDIT: Russ Alman / Digital Media Northwest
The Wenatchee Wild returned to the friendly confines of Town Toyota Center looking to gain an edge in their best-of-seven series with the Cowichan Valley Capitals after trading wins through the first four games. They needed overtime to get it done, but with a 2-1 win and now a 3-2 series lead, the Wild can close out the series when Game 6 returns to Vancouver Island on Sunday.
Wenatchee put together another solid first period, outshooting the Capitals 11-3 in a scoreless frame. The Wild converted a power play goal to take a 1-0 lead at 9:42 of the second as PJ Fletcher buried a crisp pass from Murphy Stratton finishing on the glove side of goalie Pierce Diamond. The 1-0 lead stood past the midway point of the third period when the Capitals were able to even score while skating 4-on-4 as Doug Scott swept home a loose puck following a net front scramble at 13:05. The game would eventually be decided in overtime.
After a brief delay due to a lighting malfunction, play got underway and the Wild went on a power play when Murphy Stratton was taken down on the right wing entering the zone. As the Wild crisply zipped the puck around the zone, PJ Fletcher made a gorgeous behind-the-back dish to Matt Dorsey who lifted it upstairs for the game winner at 4:26 of the extra session. Austin Park stopped 17 of 18 shots, improving to 6-2 in the postseason.
The Wild now lead the best-of-seven series three games to two. Game 6 will be played Sunday night at 7:05 at the Island Savings Centre in Duncan, BC. If needed, Game 7 would be in Wenatchee on Tuesday March 26.
AROUND THE BCHL: In the other Interior Conference series, Vernon now has a 3-2 series lead over Trail following a 5-2 home win, the first win by a home team in that series, which Trail once led, 2-0. Powell River and Victoria were tied at 2 games apiece but the Grizzlies won 4-2 on Friday night to go up 3-2 in that series. Both series will see Game 6 played on Saturday night. Prince George awaits the Island winner for the Coastal Conference Final after sweeping Chilliwack.
Wenatchee playoff games are available for video streaming on HockeyTV, and will be broadcast live both locally and via internet stream on “NewsRadio 560 KPQ”, with the Pregame Shows starting 15 minutes prior to faceoff. Our official away game watch parties are at Bob’s Burgers and Brew in East Wenatchee and Tap N Putt on Wenatchee Ave.