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WILD TOPPLED IN OVERTIME LOSS

PHOTO: Lucas Sowder (11) had a goal and an assist in Friday’s overtime home loss to Merritt. 
CREDIT: Russ Alman / Digital Media Northwest

The Wenatchee Wild surrendered the game-winning goal in sudden death overtime on Friday night, falling 4-3 to the visiting Merritt Centennials at Town Toyota Center.

Wenatchee scored first in the opening period. Lucas Sowder moved the puck down the left wing wall to Josh Arnold in the corner, and Arnold spotted AJ Hodges at the top of the crease by the far post and quickly flung a pass in hid direction. Hodges snapped it home from point blank range at 13:14 for a 1-0 Wild edge. Sowder doubled the lead to 2-0 in the middle frame while skating 4-on-4, firing a shot from the right circle on a 2-on-1 rush that whistled past Merritt goalie Austin Roden. The Centennials got on the board in the second period on a Mike Van Unen shot from the midpoint. The Centennials broke through to tie the game at 2-2 early in the third, but Nathan Iannone reclaimed the lead when he lifted the rebound of a Jacob Modry shot up underneath the crossbar and the Wild led, 3-2. Midway through the third period, a mishandled puck at the right point sprung Merritt on a rush that was converted into a tying goal, and the game would head to overtime. Both teams had chances in the extra session, but a neutral zone pokecheck sent Nick Granowicz in alone and his wrister picked the inside of the post on the blocker side for the hat trick, and the overtime game winner. Austin Park

Wenatchee (6-6-2) and the Merritt Centennials (11-6-0) wrap up the weekend series Saturday at Town Toyota Center. The games will be available for video streaming on HockeyTV. The game will be broadcast live on “Sports Radio 1340 The Hawk” with the Pregame Show each night airing at 6:45 pm. The series marks the beginning of a five-game homestand. The Wild play 9 of their next 10 at Town Toyota Center.