WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee Wild earned three of a possible four points in their Home Opening Weekend series against the Vernon Vipers. Vernon notched a 3-2 shootout win on Saturday night at Town Toyota Center.
After a scoreless first period, the Wild opened the scoring at 13:17 of the second period. Following the media timeout, Wenatchee won the center ice draw and Dylan Herzog sprinted into the zone down the left wing, tossing the puck into the crease where Quinn Emerson directed it in for the 1-0 lead. Vernon cashed in on a power play late in the period to tie it, a one-timer from the top of the left circle from Matt Kowalski. Tensions boiled over early in the period when Huston Karpman dropped the gloves with Landon Fuller, a solid scrap that ended the night early for both players.
It was only a minute into the third period when Viper defenseman Christian Felton backhanded a rebound home for a 2-1 Viper lead, but it only lasted :25 seconds before Jack Bayless scored his second goal in as many games, driving home the deflection of a Drew Bavaro attempt from the low slot. After 60 minutes, the game headed to overtime. In the extra session, Vernon spent the last :40 seconds on a power play but ultimately the game would be decided in a shootout. The first two shooters for Vernon both scored, while both Wild shooters had their attempts turned aside, leading the Vipers to a 3-2 shootout win. Daniel Chenard stopped 36 of 38 shots in 65 minutes of play.
Wenatchee (3-0-1) continues the homestand against Trail (0-3-1) on Friday and Merritt (0-3-0) on Saturday. The games will be broadcast live on NewsRadio 560 KPQ on Friday, and SportsRadio 1340 The Hawk on Saturday. All games are streamed live on HockeyTV.
Wild celebrate home opener with 2-1 victory
The Wenatchee Wild opened the home portion of their 2019-20 BCHL Schedule with a 2-1 win over the visiting Vernon Vipers on Friday night in front of better than 2,000 fans at Town Toyota Center.
The Wild scored first for the first time in three games this season at the 7:36 mark of the first period. Jerrett Overland held the puck in at the right point, sending it down into the corner for Nico Chmelevski. Chmelevski fed it out front for Jack Bayless who snapped it home across the goalie’s body to the blocker side, and the Wild held the 1-0 lead at the end of the first period.
Wenatchee doubled their lead in the second period when Nick Cafarelli poked the puck ahead to Brian Adams in the neutral zone, creating a 2-on-1 rush. Adams, a right-handed shooter drove down the left side and wired a shot past the glove hand of Viper goalie Max Palaga for a 2-0 lead at the 4:01 mark that stood through 40 minutes of play.
The Vipers cut into the Wild lead at 7:43 of the third when Connor Sleeth drove down the left wing and cut hard to the net, where his shot attempt was denied. However, in the course of making the save, Wild goalie Daniel Chenard was sprawled out and his stick was knocked behind the net. The rebound try was a no-look backhander from Landon Fuller that slipped through and made it a one-goal game. Six seconds later, the Wild were forced to kill off a penalty which they did successfully. Vernon pulled their goalie for the extra attacker with 1:33 left to play and created a couple of decent chances but the Wild held on to claim the 2-1 Home Opener win. Daniel Chenard improved his save pct. to .931, turning aside 27 of 28 shots. The Wild remain tied for first place in the Interior Division with Penticton, who improved to 3-0-0 with a 7-3 win at Merritt on Friday.