Wenatchee, WA. – The Wenatchee Wild came out firing on all cylinders Saturday night, snapping a 3-game slide in the process with an 8-1 win over the Coquitlam Express before an opening night crowd of 3,723 at the Town Toyota Center.
In the first, Tyler Rockwell (San Jose, CA) scored five-hole from the right circle, off assists from Blake Christensen (Lauderhill, FL) and Kyle Stephan (Barrie, ON) at 4:01. The power play goal put the Wild up 1-0. Christensen would add to the lead just over three minutes later, scoring top shelf from the right circle, assisted by Matt Burchill (Marshfield, MA) at 7:41, upping the lead to 2-0. The lead would grow some more late in the period, as August Von Ungern (Boise, ID) snapped one home from the left circle. The unassisted goal, coming at 18:20, gave Wenatchee a 3-0 lead after one.
The Express would score off the opening draw of the second period to get back in the game. Jackson Cressey scored from Taylor Green at 7 seconds, making it a 3-1 game. However, the Wild would get that one back and more. Joe Drabin (Rochester, NY) scored from Hunter Alden (Walla Walla, WA) at 9:27, increasing the lead to 4-1. Then, in the final minute of the period, Brandon Puricelli (St. Louis, MO.) scored off a nice feed from behind the net by Josh Bell (St. Louis, MO) at 19:36. Rockwell also assisted on the goal, giving Wenatchee a 5-1 lead through 40 minutes.
The Wild would add three more in the third. Drabin would score from Von Ungern and Burchill at 2:15 to make it 6-1. The lead grew to 7-1 at 5:49 on a Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, NV) goal, assisted by Christensen and Aaron Murray (Chino, CA). Wenatchee’s Christensen would round out the scoring, assisted by Harris at 12:56 and the Wild would go on from there to the 8-1 win.
Wenatchee outshot Coquitlam 48-25. Chase Perry (Andover, MN) made 24 saves for the Wild, who went 1-for-2 on the power play and 4-of-4 on the penalty kill. Lawson Fenton made 40 saves for the Express. “Tonight, right from the warmup, there was a lot of energy in the building.” said Wenatchee Wild Associate Coach Tom Rudrud. “I think our guys played off of that. We played with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of urgency and as a result we were able to put some pucks behind their goaltender.”
With the win, Wenatchee improves to 6-2-1-0 on the season, while Coquitlam slips to 5-5-1-1. The Wild hosts the Powell River Kings on Sunday, October 11th Saturday, October 10th, with faceoff at the Town Toyota Center set for 7:05pm PDT. Tickets are available at the door, at the Wild office, or by calling 509-888-7825 or 509-888-7274.
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