Wenatchee, WA. – The Wenatchee Wild scored once in each of the first two periods and held serve through the third, skating to a 2-1 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies Friday night, before 2,747 fans at the Town Toyota Center.
The Wild struck first on a wrister from the right circle by Kyle Stephan (Barrie, ON), assisted by Bryan Yoon (Parker, CO) at 9:10, giving Wenatchee a 1-0 lead after one.
In the second, the Grizzlies would tie it up on a Jake Stevens goal, assisted by Cole Pickup and PJ Conlon at 5:08, squaring the game at 1-1. Then, just over ten minutes later, Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, NV) would score on a breakaway, assisted by Blake Christensen (Lauderhill, FL) and Yoon at 15:39, giving the Wild a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes.
The two teams would go at each other in the third period, with Wenatchee holding an 8-7 shots advantage. But, despite pulling their goaltender at the end, Victoria was unable to get the equalizer, as Wenatchee held on for the 2-1 win.
The Wild outshot the Grizzlies 24-17 on the night. Garrett Nieto (Yorba Linda, CA) made 16 saves for Wenatchee, while Matthew Galajda had 22 stops for Victoria. The Wild went 0-for-2 on the power play and 4-of-4 on the penalty kill. “They played a 1970 old-style hockey brand, it was interesting.” said Wenatchee Wild Head Coach/General Manager Bliss Littler. “I thought our kids responded well to it. We definitely did not get intimidated. Proud of the effort of our kids tonight. I thought we made a lot of plays.”
Wenatchee, who won for the ninth time in their past ten games, improves their record to 33-15-3-3 on the season; the Grizzlies fall to 22-28-4-0. The Wild hosts the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday, February 20th, 7:05pm at the Town Toyota Center.