7-6 OT Win Keeps Wild Alive to Climb
(provided to NCWLIFE by Arch Ecker & The Wenatchee Wild Hockey Club)
KELOWNA, B.C. – A back and forth see-saw battle between the Wenatchee Wild and the West Kelowna Warriors was filled with momentum swings and lead changes and loads of scoring. The game was capped off with an overtime game winner that was a worthy finish to a wildly exciting contest. Matt Dorsey put the game away with Wenatchee’s only shot on goal in the extra session to move the Wild into second place in the Interior Division.
Things Didn’t Look Good For Wenatchee Early
West Kelowna scored first, just two minutes into the game and the Warriors took a 1-0 lead into the locker room. The Wild tied it up on a Sam Morton power play goal, assisted by Cooper Zech and Jasper Weatherby at 3:45 of the second, but the Warriors’ Parm Dhaliwal scored on a power play at 7:11 to retake the lead. Lucas Sowder pulled Wenatchee back even at 15:02 finishing off a couple of sharp passes from Zech and Dorsey.
The Warriors boomeranged back on top when Ryan Steele blocked a shot and chased down the puck and finished the breakaway chance for a 3-2 lead, and Jared Marino scored on a power play just over a minute later for a two goal Warrior lead. Both teams were a combined three for three on power play chances through forty minutes.
Wild Gains 2-Goal Lead, Then Loses it in Third
In the final frame, Wenatchee came out on a mission, and converted a power play chance at 2:37 with Chad Sasaki doing a good job of patiently finding a shooting lane to wire a snapshot through. On a subsequent penalty kill, Jacob Modry broke up a Warrior pass and pushed it ahead for Lucas Sowder who planted it blocker side from the right wing to knot the score at 4-4. At 7:58, Sam Morton drilled a power play one-timer from the right circle that popped the water bottle from its resting place atop the net and put the Wild up 5-4.
With momentum heavily on the Wild’s side, captain AJ Vanderbeck pushed home a crossing feed from Slava Demin in the high slot, and with four unanswered goals, the Wild held a 6-4 lead late in the game. The Warriors pulled their goalie for the extra attacker with over two minutes remaining, and Parm Dhaliwal buried his second of the night to close the gap to 6-5. Employing the strategy again, Michael Ryan picked off a Wild zone clear attempt and stepped in to rip a game-tying shot home with 1:20 to play. Tied at 6-6 at the end of regulation, the game went into sudden death overtime.
Fast-Paced Overtime Ends With Dorsey Heroics
All the energy in the building had shifted back to the home team, with their frenetic late game-tying push. It ramped up further when the Wild were whistled for too many men on the ice just :58 seconds into overtime. But Wenatchee killed it off and with 1:11 left in the first overtime, Murphy Stratton advanced into the Warrior zone with a partial line change in progress, waited, and dished to Zak Galambos who was looping off the left wall. Galambos fed a sharp pass to Matt Dorsey against the grain, and Dorsey deked to his right before sliding the puck around behind Nik Amundrud for the 7-6 overtime victory.
Seth Eisele stopped 22 of 28 shots to collect his 20th win. Cooper Zech had a three assist night as he set the new record for career assists for a Wild defenseman. He moves into second overall in scoring in the BCHL, led only by teammate Jasper Weatherby.
Wild Tied For Second Place, Could Still Move Up
Wenatchee (37-14-4-1) will close out the regular season with stops in Vernon on Friday, and Saturday at Penticton. Playoff seeding and opponent will be determined by the regular season results, which will likely come down to the final day. For playoff ticket info, please call the Wild office at 509-888-7825.