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PHOTO CREDIT: Hannah Winkler

The Wenatchee Wild and Trail Smoke Eaters squared off Saturday night in the iFIBER Rink in Wenatchee for a pair of preseason “mini-games”, and each team came away with a 3-0 win.

This weekend’s series of games which continue on Sunday afternoon feature a unique format. Instead of a standard three period game, the teams are playing two separate “mini-games” of two periods apiece each day. With a larger number of players in camp battling to make the final roster (for both teams), this allows for more players to get the opportunity to compete in game situations. Four periods of hockey will be played each day as fans and coaches alike see this year’s roster hopefuls compete.

In the opening game, it was a see-saw battle as Wenatchee had the upper hand through a scoreless first period, but in the second, Trail veteran Tyler Ghirardosi converted a power play tally to put the Smoke Eaters up 1-0 at 1:17. Levi Glasman and Mack Byers connected at 4:26 to make it a 2-0 game, and then Byers cashed in on Trail’s second power play at 16:29 for the eventual 3-0 final margin in the opening game.

In the nightcap, the momentum swung the opposite direction. Mat Gosiewski got the Wild on the board at 14:56, with assists going to Lucas Sowder and Murphy Stratton. The Wild led 1-0 after the first period. In the final frame, Murphy Stratton snapped home a power play goal, assisted by Drake Usher at 2:35. Lucas Sowder tipped in a Mat Gosiewski pass from the left wing on a rush at 16:21 for the 3-0 final in the second game. Austin Park played the first game in goal for the Wild, and Cal Sandquist minded the net for the finale.

After Sunday’s rematch with Trail at 2:00 pm in the iFIBER Rink, the Wild will play one more preseason game, also in the iFIBER Rink on Friday, Aug. 31 at 7 pm when the Penticton Vees come to town. That game will be a standard three period game and tickets will also be $10 general admission. Wenatchee’s preseason concludes the following night as the Wild travel to Penticton for a 6pm matchup with the Vees.

The regular season begins for Wenatchee on Sept. 7 when the Wild visit the Vernon Vipers. The Wild Home Opener will be Friday October 12 against the Nanaimo Clippers, and will feature the unveiling of the Championship Banners, a Ring Ceremony, and more.