Wild Win 4-3 in Overtime, Advance in Playoffs
WENATCHEE, WA – The Wenatchee Wild defeated Vernon in sudden-death overtime Saturday 4-3 to advance to the next round of the BCHL Playoffs. AJ Vanderbeck’s goal 3:38 into overtime sent an already boisterous crowd into a tizzy at the Town Toyota Center as the Wild Captain’s teammates buried him in a dog pile at center ice.
It didn’t look good early for the home crowd or its team as Wenatchee fell behind Vernon 2-nil in the first period behind goals from Derek Brown (3:31 of 1st) and Jimmy Lambert (12:59 of 1st). Zak Galambos cut the lead in half for the Wild with a goal at the 15:47 mark of the first period. But right before intermission, Niko Karamanis scored for the Vipers, giving the visitors a 3-1 lead heading into the first break.
The two teams skated scoreless in the second and a restless crowd feared its team would have to travel back to Vernon for a series-deciding Game 7 Monday. But Jasper Weatherby gave the Wild faithful reason to cheer at the 4:27 mark with a goal to bring Wenatchee to withing 3-2 margin. Then, at the 12:33 mark of the third, Sam Hesler scored his 3rd goal of the playoffs to tie it at 3 and for the second-consecutive night, Wenatchee and Vernon would play overtime.
Vanderbeck’s goal 3:38 into the first overtime gave Wenatchee the 4-3 win and series win, four games to two, as the Wild reeled off four straight wins after dropping the first two games of the series.
Wenatchee will meet the winner of Monday’s other Interior Division Semifinal between Trail and Penticton. Their best-of-seven series is tied at 3-3 after Penticton won Saturday 6-to-1. Details of the Wild’s series will be released Tuesday, following Monday’s game in Penticton, B.C.