WILD DROP SERIES OPENER AT CHILLIWACK
Chilliwack, B.C. – The Wenatchee Wild and Chilliwack Chiefs went back-and-forth against each other all night long, but a third period goal just shy of the 12 minute mark was the difference maker, as the Chilliwack Chiefs took a 4-3 victory in game one of the second round series, in front of 1,507 fans at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack.
Colin Burston (Winnipeg, MB) opened the scoring early in the first, deflecting the puck off his skate and into the net. Mike Coyne (Buffalo, NY) assisted at 2:58, giving the Wild a 1-0 lead. The Chiefs would knot the score halfway through the period, as Vimal Sukumaran scored from Jordan Kawaguchi and Connor McCarthy at 10:01, making it a 1-1 game after one.
Burston would score another, off assists from Coyne and Aaron Murray (Chino, CA) at 3:53 of the second, putting Wenatchee on top, 2-1. 10 minutes later, Sukumaran scored again for Chilliwack, assisted by Austin Adam and Kale Kane at 13:42, tying the game 2-2 through two.
The Chiefs would take their first lead of the night on Sukumaran’s third of the night, assisted by Kawaguchi and Rylan Bechtel at 7:59 of the third, putting Chilliwack on top, 3-2. But, the Wild’s Blake Christensen (Lauderhill, FL) would shove one in from in close. Murray and Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, NV) assisted at 10:09, squaring things at 3-3. However, Darien Craighead scored from Jeremy Germain and Jesse Lansdell at 11:42 and the Chiefs would hold on from there for the 4-3 win.
Chilliwack outshot Wenatchee 33-19 for the game. Chase Perry (Andover, MN) made 29 saves for the Wild; Aidan Pelino had 16 saves for the Chiefs. Wenatchee went 0-for-2 on the power play and 3-of-3 on the penalty kill. “Chilliwack showed a lot more compete than we did tonight.” said Wenatchee Wild Head Coach/General Manager Bliss Littler. “In a playoff series we need to compete harder. We want to get back in this tomorrow night, that’s what it going to take. It’s going to take more compete from all 20 guys, more of an outright team effort. We take care of pucks, we break pucks out, we play a team game on the forecheck. We do those things, we’ve shown throughout the course of the year that we can be a pretty good hockey club when we do those things. That’s what it’s going to take to even the series up tomorrow.”
The Wild trail the second round, best-of-seven series 1 game to none. The two teams will play Saturday night in Chilliwack at 7:00pm. The series will then shift to Wenatchee for games three and four on Monday, March 21st and Tuesday, March 22nd at 7:05pm both nights.
Battle For The Border