The Wenatchee Wild capped off their two-game road series against the Bismarck Bobcats with a 5-2 loss.
Wenatchee dropped both meetings in the series and made some costly mistakes characteristic of a young team still working to get its bearings.
“We were plying a veteran team that was well coached. They taught us a lot of lessons,” second-year coach Bliss Littler said in a phone interview. “They taught us how hard you have to compete and you have to take care of the puck. But we saw some things we can build on.”
Bismarck capitalized on several turnovers and scored three of its five goals on breakaways. Its final score of the evening came against an empty net.
“Those are things that we just have to be smarter about,” Littler said of surrendering breakaway opportunities. “… Every time we don’t have to make a great play, we just have to make the right play.”
Littler is confident that will come in time though, and he saw some positives that bode well going forward.
“Goal tending played well, that’s always a good spot is when you have good goal tending,” he said. “And I saw some guys that competed hard, got their nose dirty and stayed in the battle.”
Playing in a hostile environment on the road is never easy, but Wenatchee will host the Bobcats later this season. Littler hopes to repay the favor in that late January doubleheader.
“We hung together,” Littler said of his squad. “I give the Bobcats a lot of credit, they put a good whooping on us. But I told the guys, we see them later in our building and hopefully by then we’ve made strides to catch them.”
The Wild were outshot 40-22 in the loss and Chase Perry recorded 35 saves on 39 shots faced. Parker Tuomie recorded both of Wenatchee’s scores.
Bismarck 4, Wenatchee 3 (Friday)
The Wenatchee Wild’s two-goal rally midway through the third period came up short and Wenatchee fell 4-3 on the road Friday against the Bismarck Bobcats.
Wenatchee entered the final period trailing 3-1 after giving up a pair of scored in the second period.
It cut the deficit to 3-2 after a goal from Joseph Kaszupski off an assist from Chris Koukis at the 10:52 mark. River Rymsha lit the lamp again on a power play to tie the contest 3-3 with less than five minutes left in regulation.
The Bobcats scored once more three minutes later to seal the home victory.
Wenatchee netminder Mackenzie Sawyer recorded 31 saves on 35 shots and the Wild, who finished the night with 23 shots on goal, were 1-for-2 on power play opportunities.