Wenatchee, WA. – A late goal proved to be the difference Saturday night in a game that had everything for the 3,233 fans in attendance, as the Chilliwack Chiefs held on to first place in the Mainland Division with a 3-2 win over the Wenatchee Wild at the Town Toyota Center.
Chilliwack led 1-0 after one, thanks to an unassisted goal by Connor McCarthy at 5:50 that put the Chiefs in the lead.
In the second, Chilliwack would stretch the lead on a goal by Darien Craighead, assisted by Jordan Kawaguchi at 2:43, giving the visitors a 2-0 advantage. The Wild would slice in half about 9 minutes later, as Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, NV) took a stretch pass from Konsta Jaske (Samammish, WA) and slipped home a goal in tight to finish off a breakaway. Logan Milliken (Canmore, AB) drew the second assist on the goal coming at 11:42, cutting the Chiefs lead to 2-1.
In the third, Charlie Combs (St. Louis, MO) fired home a wrister from the right circle, bringing Wenatchee into a 2-2 tie. Blake Christensen (Lauderhill, FL) and Bryan Yoon (Parker, CO) assisted, squaring the game and setting the stage for a big finish. Unfortunately for the Wild, it wasn’t the finish they hoped for. Kohen Olischefski scored on a sharp angle shot from the right side at 19:04, assisted by Kawaguchi and Craighead and Chilliwack would hold on for the 3-2 win.
Wenatchee outshot the Chiefs 37-22 on the night. Chase Perry (Andover, MN) made 19 saves for the Wild, while Aiden Pelino had 35 saves for Chilliwack. Wenatchee went 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-of-3 on the penalty kill. “You never like to lose a game like that,” said Wenatchee Wild Head Coach/General Manager Bliss Littler. “but I thought both teams played very hard. I thought second and third period we were much better than we were in the first but I think we found a rival. It definitely appears we found a rival. Both teams played exceptionally hard.”
With the loss, the Wild slips to 21-10-3-2 on the season, the Chiefs are now 23-7-1-3. Wenatchee hosts Chilliwack at the Town Toyota Center to start the 2016 portion of their schedule on Saturday, January 2nd and Sunday, January 3rd, 7:05pm both nights.
Battle For The Border