PHOTO: Wild forward Jack Bayless carries the puck during Sunday action in Vernon.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Vernon Vipers
The Wenatchee Wild came out strong on Sunday afternoon in Vernon, but when the smoke settled and the dust cleared, it was the Vernon Vipers who had slithered into a three-way tie for third place with Wenatchee and Salmon Arm in the Interior Division, notching a 7-3 win over the Wild at Kal Tire Place.
The Wild dictated a brisk pace to the first period, outshooting the Vipers 18-6, yet it was Vernon who scored first, with Brett Fudger hitting the top blocker side corner at 5:23. Wenatchee pulled even as Brett Chorske tapped home a rebound in the low slot on the power play at 18:25 and it was a 1-1 game at the first intermission. Chorske’s goal was assisted by Sam Morton and Drew Bavaro, extending Morton’s assist streak to 8 games.
The second period belonged to the Vipers, who took advantage of every bouncing puck and the opportunities that followed. Affiliate player Isaac Suppin collected his first goal of the season when a third Viper shot attempt bounced his way with a wide open net for a 2-1 Viper lead. Colby Feist chased down a puck that hopped over the stick of a Wild defenseman at the left point and raced in to score on a breakaway, lifting the shot at full speed over the right arm of Daniel Chenard. At 12:52, a Viper point shot was denied by Chenard but a barrage of Viper sticks were able to poke it through, with Dawson Holt getting the credit for the 4-1 lead. Matt Kowalski added Vernon’s fourth unanswered tally of the period as he deflected a slap-pass from the midpoint over the glove of Chenard and the Vipers led 5-1 after two.
Wenatchee opened the third period on a major power play after a late second period boarding call, and converted once as Harrison Scott wired home a one-timer from the left circle off a Tanner Main pass that went in off the blocker of Viper goalie Reilly Herbst to make it a 5-2 game. Vernon extended their lead to four goals again as Jack Glen found a rebound to sweep home. Wenatchee collected their third power play goal of the game when Brett Chorske ripped home a high shot from the bottom of the left circle on a 5-on-3 advantage to pull back within 3, but another second shot opportunity yielded one more tally for Vernon, capping off another odd man rush. The Vipers win, coupled with Salmon Arm’s 1-0 loss at home to Coquitlam leaves Wenatchee, Vernon, and Salmon Arm tied for third with 44 points each.
Wenatchee (20-17-4) heads back out on the road to visit Powell River (20-20-2) on Friday. 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. Our Watch Party will be at Bob’s Burgers and Brew in East Wenatchee.