Wenatchee, WA. – For the second straight game, the Wenatchee Wild overcame a two-goal deficit to top the Langley Rivermen, this time 4-3 in double overtime, in front of 2,649 Friday night at the Town Toyota Center
Langley would get goals from Matty Saharchuk from Justin Fregona at 5:53 and Dominic Franco from Jordan Schneider at 7:51, staking the Rivermen to a 2-0 lead. Wenatchee would slice the deficit in half moments later, as Captain Mike Coyne (Buffalo, NY) fired home a wrister, assisted by Bryan Yoon (Parker, CO) and Colin Burston (Winnipeg, MB) at 8:28, making it a 2-1 game. However, Langley would regain the 2-goal lead as Matthew Graham tallied, off helpers from Zac Masson and Justin Szeto, giving the Rivermen a 3-1 lead after one.
The Wild would cut into the lead again with a second period goal late. Blake Christiansen (Lauderhill, FL) tipped home a Yoon blue line blast, with Tyler Rockwell (San Jose, CA) collecting the second assist at 18:07, drawing Wenatchee to within one at 3-2 through 40 minutes.
In the third, Coyne would score again for the Wild, off assists from Burston and Dakota Raabe (Dana Point, CA) at 8:35, tying the game 3-3. Neither team could net the goal-ahead goal from there, as the game would remain tied, proceeding from there to overtime.
In the first overtime session in which the teams skated 4-on-4, Wenatchee outshot Langley 4-1, but the game remained tied 3-3, heading into the second overtime, where the teams would go at each other in a 3-on-3 period.
Both teams would have chances, but just over 3 minutes in, Coyne would find Kyle Stephan (Barrie, ON) in front. Stephan would then stuff it under the goaltender and in at 3:20, giving the Wild the comeback win, 4 to 3.
Wenatchee outshot the Rivermen 51-27 on the night. Garrett Nieto (Yorba Linda, CA) made 24 saves for the Wild, with Chase Perry (Andover, MN) facing zero shots in a brief appearance. Bo Didur had 47 stops for Langley. Wenatchee went 0-for-2 on the power play and 1-of-1 on the penalty kill. “Well, it’s not a good habit to get into, getting down a couple goals early.” said Wenatchee Wild Head Coach/General Manager Bliss Littler. “We fought back, I was proud of the effort getting back into the hockey game. Give our kids credit, we found a way to win a hockey game in the end.”
With the win, the Wild improves to 28-15-2-3 on the season; the Rivermen fall to 27-18-3-1. The win was also the 700th career coaching victory for Littler, in a career that spans 23 years and five stops in the AFHL, AWHL, USHL, NAHL and BCHL. Wenatchee hosts Langley again Saturday night, February 6th at 7:05pm PST at the Town Toyota Center.
Battle For The Border