(PHOTO: Captain Quinn Emerson smiles following a Wild goal. Wenatchee won, 3-2 on Thursday.)
The Wenatchee Wild (9-11-5) returned to action on Thursday night against the Cranbrook Bucks (17-11-2) at Town Toyota Center. It was the Bucks first ever match with the Wild, as the Bucks were an expansion team in last season’s BCHL Pod Season while the Wild sat idle. It was the first of eight scheduled between the clubs this season.
The first period had a fairly brisk pace and a few Grade A scoring chances for each side. Wenatchee had the lone power play of a scoreless first period, and Cranbrook had a 8-6 shots advantage.
Wenatchee got on the board at 6:13 of the second period as the Wild drove down the right wing and a slap shot caromed off to the opposite side where Travis Bohnet snapped it home, his first goal of the year. Assists went to Hudson Blue and Anthony Cafarelli. It was only :43 seconds later that Ean Somoza wired a shot from the high slot off the bar and in, assisted by Quinn Emerson. The game opened up a bit more in the middle frame, with a total of 30 shots on goal, 17 for the Bucks and 13 for the Wild. The Bucks cut the score in half at 11:45 and it was a 2-1 lead for the Wild at the second intermission.
With the tail end of a Wild power play spilling over from the end of the second period, it was Cade Littler who danced across the goal mouth and buried a forehand shot from a steep angle to put the Wild up 3-1 at the :34 second mark. Assists on goal were awarded to Mario Gasparini and Landon Parker. Littler’s 12th of the year tied him with Owen Bohn for the most goals scored. At 12:40 Cranbrook pulled back within a goal on a crisp wrister from the left circle. The Bucks pulled the goalie in the final 1:22 and despite some strong pressure in the Wild zone, Wenatchee held on for the 3-2 win behind a 34 save performance from goalie Tyler Shea who earned his eighth win of the season.
The Wild were 1 for 2 on power play chances, and for the second time this year, went the full sixty minutes without taking a penalty.
Wild Head Coach Chris Clark: “We’re proud of our guys for staying with it and finding a way against a good team and after a long layoff. We got solid contributions from all four lines and all six defensemen. And Tyler (Shea) was excellent, coming up with some big stops.”
The Wild (10-11-5) return Friday night for another game against Cranbrook (17-12-2) at 7:05 on Mental Health Awareness Night, sponsored by LocalTel. Afterward, the Wild load the bus and head north to face West Kelowna (20-12-0) at Royal LePage Place on Saturday night at 7 pm. Live radio coverage will be available on NewsRadio 560 KPQ with video available at bchltv.ca
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