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PHOTO: Lucas Sowder’s first period goal gave Wenatchee the early 1-0 lead on Sunday afternoon at Victoria.
CREDIT: HockeyTV.com screen capture

by Arch Ecker

The Wenatchee Wild and Victoria Grizzlies needed overtime for the second time in as many games this season, and this time it was the Grizzlies who prevailed, collecting the game-winner in double overtime Sunday afternoon at the Q Centre in Victoria, BC.

The Wild scored first as Lucas Sowder snapped home a second rebound attempt, the first shot coming from Zak Galambos at the right point, and the rebound try from Matt Dorsey left for Sowder to finish off at 3:48 of the opening period. The Wild lead grew to 2-0 on a similar play where Jasper Weatherby finished it off, set up by AJ Vanderbeck and Murphy Stratton. The Wild heavily dominated the opening frame, outshooting Victoria 18-4. The only goal of the second period came from Jamie Rome as the Grizzlies got on the board at 8:12, and Wenatchee led 2-1 after 40 minutes. At 7:29 of the third, the Wild scored an insurance tally as a strong forecheck sprung a puck from high on the left wing wall out to AJ Vanderbeck in the high slot, where he walked in a rifled a shot high glove side for a 3-1 lead. Wenatchee looked to be in full control, heavily outshooting the Grizzlies and awarded a power play with 4:20 left to play, but a mishandled puck at the midpoint turned into a shorthanded breakaway for Jamie Rome who scored on a five-hole wrister to make it a 3-2 game. Victoria went on a power play with 2:04 remaining, and tied the game on a squeaker from the right circle with :37 seconds remaining. In the first overtime, the Wild outshot the Grizzlies 6-1, but in the 3-on-3 second overtime, Victoria defenseman Carter Berger completed the comeback for a 4-3 Grizzlies win, their first ever in six tries against the Wild.

Wenatchee (34-14-4-1) returns home this weekend, Feb. 16 and 17 against Trail for the final two home games of the regular season. Group ticket packages for all games are on sale now at the Wild office by calling 509-888-7825.