PHOTO: Matt Dorsey (28) scored the eventual game-winning goal for Wenatchee.
CREDIT: HockeyTV screen shot
The Wenatchee Wild won a season high fourth straight game on Wednesday night in Merritt, coming from behind to defeat the Centennials 3-2 in regulation. The win also moved Wenatchee into fourth place, just three points off the pace where three teams are tied for first with 31 points each.
The first period stat sheet shows Wenatchee outshooting Merritt 13-10, but the Centennials had four power plays and clanged at least three shots off the posts. Merritt took a 1-0 first period lead when Matt Kopperud finished off a brisk odd-man rush with a blocker side shot from the left circle. Kopperud struck again in the second period on a sharp passing play with Mathieu Gosselin and the Wild were down 2-0. Wenatchee responded quickly, as Jacob Modry threaded a shot through traffic less than a minute later. Midway through the second period, a scrappy forecheck from Nathan Iannone yielded a turnover that set up Matt Gosiewski to blast home the game-tying goal at 10:31, his team-leading twelfth of the season. In the third period, Murphy Stratton batted down a puck in the neutral zone, chipped it into the Centennials zone, pursued it on the right wing boards and then spun with a backhand dish to Matt Dorsey who was driving down the middle all alone. Dorsey collected the pass, cut to his left and lifted the backhand shot past the blocker of the Merritt goalie to put Wenatchee up 3-2 with 6:08 to play. The Centennials pulled the goalie for the extra skater in the final minute plus and managed some pressure but Cal Sandquist and the Wild held fast for the 3-2 win.
For Sandquist, he has won five consecutive starts with a GAA of 1.80 and a save percentage of .909. The Wild moved ahead of idle Salmon Arm, now just three points out of first place, currently shared three ways by Penticton, West Kelowna, and Merritt.
Wenatchee (13-9-2) continues on their road trip with games in Trail on Friday and Salmon Arm on Saturday. The games will be available for video streaming on HockeyTV, and will be broadcast live both locally and via internet stream on “NewsRadio 560 KPQ” Friday, and “Sports Radio 1340 The Hawk” on Saturday with the Pregame Shows beginning at 6:45 pm each night.