Provided by Arch Ecker and the Wenatchee Wild Hockey Club
(Wenatchee, WA)…The Wenatchee Wild unfurled a pair of banners to celebrate regular season accomplishments, then went to work on pursuing postseason aspirations, dispatching the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings 4-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 4,300 at Town Toyota Center on Saturday night.
The first period was played somewhat cautiously by both sides and the Wild held a narrow shots on goal margin of 9-6 through the opening frame. Things picked up in the second period, and with an extended forecheck pressuring the Spruce Kings, the Wild broke through when Dakota Raabe put on a puckhandling clinic in the right wing corner, stepping out into the right circle where he rifled a shot off the crossbar and in for the 1-0 lead at 6:51. Matt Baker and Colin Burston each collected assists on the play. At 8:17, more offensive zone pressure yielded another tally, as Jasper Weatherby slipped around from behind the net to stuff home what would prove to be the game winner and the Wild held the 2-0 lead at the end of the second.
In the third period, Prince George converted a power play goal to pull within one at 6:16 as Ben Brar snapped a shot from the left side of Anthony Yamnitsky to make it a 2-1 game. The Wild responded with a power play goal of their own at 11:02 as Matt Baker snapped home a one-timer from Tyler Rockwell after a smooth zone entry by Brendan Harris and Charlie Combs. Baker would collect a second power play goal at 15:08 to put Wenatchee up 4-1, again assisted by Rockwell and Harris. The Wild outshot Prince George 29-25, as Anthony Yamnitsky stopped 24 for the win.
Wenatchee now leads the best-of-seven series one game to none. Game 2 is Sunday at 5:15 pm before the series shifts up to Prince George for Games 3 and 4, and if necessary, Game 5. All Wild games are aired live locally on Sunny FM 93.9 and available online with pay-per-view at HockeyTV.com.