WENATCHEE — Three games on, four days off and repeat.
There’s not a lot of rest in sight for the Wild (28-7-4 overall), who are working to prepare for their second straight three-game series against a NAHL West division foe.
Last week, Wenatchee had its hands full against Kenai River at Town Toyota Center. Nothing came easy for the Wild, to put things lightly.
They won the first game of the series in overtime, the second via shootout and dropped the finale after spending the final seven minutes of the third period — and much of the rest of the contest — shorthanded. In fact, both of Kenai River’s scores came off power plays. Wenatchee didn’t get the additional two points it wanted, but gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about.
The series itself was exciting and rife with drama, but the controversy and assistant coach Chris Clark’s theatrics — he used a hockey stick as a walking cane and wore sunglasses as a way of commentating on that night’s officiating — after his team fell behind 2-1 left fans roaring for more.
It’s hard to ask for a more exciting weekend, but this week’s three-game home series against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (29-11-1 overall) could fit the bill.
Wenatchee leads the NAHL West, but only by a sliver (one point, to be exact). The Ice Dogs come into Wenatchee a very dangerous team. They are 8-2 in the month of January — 2-1 against the Wild in that stretch — and are coming off a three-game road series sweep over the Fresno Monsters.
“(The Ice Dogs are) one of the better teams year in and year out, and I think Wenatchee’s shown in their first four years they’ve been one of the best teams year in and year out,” coach Bliss Littler said.
The stakes are high for both squads, and in all likelihood, whoever wins this series will lead the division after this weekend.
Wenatchee, which has led the division for most of the season, won’t be out of luck if it does end up losing its lead after this weekend — it still has 18 regular season games after this series. But it goes without saying that picking two or even three wins this weekend would make a strong statement.
“I would think that both teams would bring their ‘A’ games,” Littler said. “And I think people will be in for three very competitive hockey games.”