PHOTO: Sam Morton (19) powers through Chilliwack defenders to score the game winning goal Saturday night.
CREDIT: Russ Alman / Digital Media Northwest
The Interior Division battle for playoff seeding is as tight as it can get, and Wenatchee sits at the top of a crowded heap after defeating the Chilliwack Chiefs on Saturday 4-2 as the Wild move to a perfect 6-0-0 record in February. The second largest crowd of the season (3,429) watched as the Wild rattled off three unanswered goals in the third period to secure the win and move into third place in the division, just one point ahead of both Salmon Arm and Vernon.
The Chiefs top-rated power play converted on their first opportunity. Defenseman Cooper Moore leaped at the blue line to glove down a clearing attempt, then stepped up into the right circle and wired a shot past Daniel Chenard for a 1-0 lead that stood at the end of the first. Matt Dorsey converted on a power play for Wenatchee early in the second period, snapping home the rebound of a Drew Bavaro midpoint shot. Chilliwack regained their one-goal lead as Connor Milburn scored off the tip of Chenard’s glove and the Chiefs led 2-1 after 2.
After allowing Chilliwack to score on four consecutive power plays dating back to their first meeting in November, the Wild buckled down and killed off the next four. Moments after returning to full strength, Brett Chorske stole the puck from a Chiefs forward in the Wild zone and pushed it to Luke Ormsby, who’d just been released from the penalty box. Ormsby chipped it along the right wing boards, and raced past a Chilliwack defenseman, cut to the net and shot it over the left leg pad of Mathieu Caron to even the score at 2. The eventual game-winner was a thing of beauty. Noah Lugli angled a pass off the right wing boards to Matt Dorsey, who curled and threaded the needle to lay a soft pass ahead for Sam Morton who pushed it past the defender, then stepped around him and rifled it home for a 3-2 lead. Dylan Herzog added a late empty netter for the final 4-2 margin, helping Daniel Chenard defeat his former team for his 20th win of the season.
Wenatchee (29-22-4) heads to Salmon Arm (28-21-5) for a 7:00 pm faceoff on Sunday night. The game will be broadcast and streamed online with NewsRadio 560 KPQ, with the Pregame Show airing at 6:45 pm. All games are video streamed live on HockeyTV. Watch Party will be at Bob’s Burgers and Brew.
Wild playoff ticket packages and Banquet Tickets are on sale now in the Wild office. Call 509-888-7825.