Wenatchee, WA. – The Wenatchee Wild overcame a two-goal deficit and took an early third-period lead, but eventually fell to the Langley Rivermen 4-3 Saturday night in game one of their first-round, best-of-seven playoff series, before 3,432 at the Town Toyota Center.
Langley would open the scoring with a Matthew Graham goal, assisted by Ryan Barrow at 6:21, then Trevor Ayre scored from Justin Szeto at 14:52, giving the Rivermen a 2-0 lead after one.
Wenatchee would tie it up in the second. Blake Christensen (Lauderhill, FL) snapped home a wrist shot from the right circle, assisted by Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, NV) at 12:43, bringing the Wild within one, at 2-1. Wenatchee would strike again at 14:08, getting a power play goal from Mike Coyne (Buffalo, NY), off an assist from Kyle Stephan (Barrie, ON) at 14:08, squaring the game 2-2 after two.
Early in the third, the Wild would take the lead. Bryan Yoon (Parker, CO) scored through a screen from the left point, assisted by Charlie Combs (St. Louis, MO) and Coyne at 1:18. The power play goal would give Wenatchee a 3-2 lead. However, the lead wouldn’t last long. Torrin White scored an unassisted goal for Langley at 3:10, tying the game 3-3. Then, White would score again from Szeto and Adam Sinclair at 16:11. The Wild would push hard but weren’t able to get the equalizer, as the Rivermen held on for the 4-3 win and the 1-0 series lead.
Wenatchee outshot Langley 46-25 for the game. Chase Perry (Andover, MN) made 21 saves for the Wild, while Bo Didur had 43 stops for the Rivermen. Wenatchee went 2-for-2 on the power play and 1-of-1 on the penalty kill. “We need to make them work harder to score.” said Wenatchee Wild Head Coach/General Manager Bliss Littler. “A couple of soft plays hurt us. You outshoot a team 46-25; usually you win those type of games. Want to rebound tomorrow.”
The Rivermen, who picked up their first win of the season on Wild ice, lead the best-of-seven series 1 game to none. Game two is at the Town Toyota on Sunday, March 6th, beginning at 5:05pm PST. The series shifts to Langley for games Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, March 8th, 9th and 11th. If the series extends beyond that, games 6 and 7, if needed, would be in Wenatchee on Sunday, March 13th at 8:05pm PDT and Monday, March 14th at 7:05pm.
Battle For The Border