Wenatchee, WA. – The Wenatchee Wild overcame an early two-goal deficit, and then let a two-goal lead slip in the third, in a 4-4 tie with the Langley Rivermen Tuesday night, in front of 2,237 fans at the Town Toyota Center.
Langley scored twice early to open the game. Zac Masson scored from Zachary Bleuler and Jason O’Neill at 1:04, then Ryan Barrow scored from Matthew Graham and Donovan Shambeau at 3:26, giving the Rivermen a 2-0 lead over Wenatchee for the fourth consecutive game played between the two teams. However, the Wild would roar back late in the period with a pair of goals of their own. Matt Baker (Midhurst, ON) scored at 16:32, assisted by August Von Ungern (Boise, ID) and Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, NV), then Harris scored from Colin Burston (Winnipeg, MB) and Charlie Combs (St. Louis, MO) at 19:34, tying the game 2-2 after one.
Wenatchee would score once in the second to grab the lead. Baker netted his second of the contest, off assists from Harris and Blake Christensen (Lauderhill, FL) at 5:18, putting the Wild up 3-2 after two.
Wenatchee expanded the lead early in the third, as Christensen scored from Konsta Jaske (Samammish, WA) and Combs at 4:34, putting the Wild up 4-2. However, the lead wouldn’t hold. The Rivermen crawled back to within one at 4-3 at 11:23 on a Max Kaufman goal, assisted by Adam Sinclair and Barrow. Then, in the dying moments, Jordan Schneider scored from Justin Szeto and Graham. The goal, coming at 19:59, knotted the game 4-4, forcing overtime.
In the first extra session, Wenatchee outshot Langley 8-1, but neither team could find the back of the net. In the second extra session, the Rivermen outshot the Wild 4-2, but again, neither team scored and the game ended up in a 4-4 tie.
Wenatchee outshot Langley 51-42 for the game. Garrett Nieto (Yorba Linda, CA) made several huge saves amongst his 38 stops for the Wild, while Nickolas Trenciansky had 47 saves for the Rivermen. Wenatchee went 2-for-5 on the power play with a shorthanded goal against and 3-of-4 on the penalty kill. “Proud that we came back from being down two.” said Wenatchee Wild Head Coach/General Manager Bliss Littler. “Obviously it’s not good when you give up a two-goal lead in the third period. We got a little selfish. Need to be, want to be playing better hockey once we get into the playoffs, that’s for sure. Got to clean up some things. We keep collecting points; we’ve collected points in twelve straight games. Too bad we threw that one away.”
With the overtime tie, the Wild sees their record move to 33-15-4-4 on the season; Langley is now 31-22-3-2. Wenatchee hits the road to wrap up the regular season schedule at Vernon, 7:00pm on Friday, February 26th, then at Merritt on Saturday, February 27th, at 7:30pm. The Wild open up the Fred Page Cup Playoffs on Saturday, March 5th at 7:05pm and Sunday, March 6th at 5:05pm at the Town Toyota Center, against the Langley Rivermen, in a best-of-seven series.
Battle For The Border