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PHOTO: Chad Sasaki finished off this Murphy Stratton pass in the opening minute, his first of four points on the night as the Wild defeat Vernon, 5-4 on Saturday. 
CREDIT: HockeyTV screenshot

The Wenatchee Wild got a boost from the blue line on Saturday with 3 goals and 5 points coming from defensemen as the Wild downed the Vernon Vipers 5-4 at Kal Tire Place on Saturday night.

Wenatchee struck quickly as third year defenseman Chad Sasaki tapped home a pass from Murphy Stratton only :28 seconds into the contest. 25 seconds later, Brandon Koch fired a shot from the point that bounced off the goalie and a Viper defender into the net for a 2-0 lead less than a minute into the game. The Vernon faithful sat in wait with teddy bears in hand for their annual event, and got their reward on a Jagger Williamson power play goal at 17:46. The Wild held the 2-1 lead at the first intermission.

Chad Sasaki scored his second goal of the night at 12:26 of the second period, coming down into the right circle and snapping home a low feed from Brian Adams for a 3-1 Wild edge. The Vipers slithered back with a Coleton Bilodeau with a delayed penalty pending at 14:25 on a wraparound, and Josh Latta tied it up getting sprung behind the Wild defense and deking to his left to tuck the puck underneath Austin Park and the game was tied at 3 after two periods.

Vernon took their first lead of the night in the opening minute of the third period when Alex Swetlikoff was left alone in the crease and after multiple tries he shoveled home a centering feed from the left corner to put the Vipers ahead 4-3. They weren’t able to enjoy the lead very long, as Chad Sasaki broke up a pass that Matt Dorsey collected, then drove down the left side and scorched a backhand shot into the top part of the net to tie the game at 4 a side. 22 seconds later Wenatchee reclaimed the lead for keeps as Murphy Stratton fed Cristophe Tellier for the backdoor finish and the 5-4 final margin. Austin Park stopped 20 shots for the win.

Wenatchee (19-10-2) returns home Friday night to face Penticton (20-8-1-2) in the annual “Pink at the Rink” event. The game will be available for video streaming on HockeyTV, and will be broadcast live both locally and via internet stream on “NewsRadio 560 KPQ”, with the Pregame Show starting at 6:45 pm.