Doyle Cup In Hand, Wild Happy To Be Home
WENATCHEE, WA – Nearly 300 fans turned out Sunday to provide a hero’s welcome to the Wenatchee Wild Hockey Club, fresh off their Doyle Cup Victory in Alberta. A Wenatchee Police Car picked up the team bus on the east side of the Senator Sellar Bridge and provided an escort all the way to the Town Toyota Center. As the bus turned on Walla Walla Avenue, it was apparent there were a lot of fans waiting and cheering.
Arch Ecker Announces the Doyle Cup Winners
As the team bus turned on the north side of the Town Toyota Center, a wall of fans holding signs, ringing cowbells, waving their hands, clapping and cheering lined the entry to the backside of the building. Shortly after the bus stopped, the door flung open and Wenatchee Wild Radio and TV Play-by-Play Announcer Arch Ecker emerged to introduce the team.
“Ladies and Gentlemen! Wild Nation! We are pleased to present to you, the Doyle Cup Champions! The fans cheered wildly as Captain AJ Vanderbeck stepped off the bus and held the Doyle Cup triumphantly aloft. Players traded holding the Cup above their heads while phone cameras snapped and blinked throughout the crowd.
Players and Coach Thankful for Such Great Fans
Once inside, NCWLIFE was able to chat with a few players and Coach Bliss Littler about the reception. Goalie Austin Park was blown away. “It’s incredible! It’s truly a hero’s welcome. You couldn’t ask for anything more. These fans, all season, have just been incredible and it’s truly been a gift to be a part of this.”
Vanderbeck says they’re actually getting used to these kind of receptions from the Wild faithful. “After we came back from Prince George and didn’t even win the series yet and we had hundreds of fans out there waiting to welcome us home and get us ready for game five. It was incredible! When we were pulling into town and saw the police escort, right away we knew we’d have a bunch of incredible fans waiting for us.”
Coach and General Manager Bliss Littler, looking a tad weary from the 18-hour bus trip, smiled widely at the reception his team received. “I’ll tell you what, this is something these kids will remember for forever. With the police escort and then we pull in and there’s all the fans, more so than the home fans for a lot of places where we play. It makes it awful special coaching here and awful special playing here.”
Wild Now Prepare for RBC Cup Beginning Saturday
The Wild have the week to prepare for the next phase in their playoff season. They’ll begin play for the RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Cup Saturday in Chilliwack against the host Chiefs. The Round Robin Format will continue through the weekend and into the following week with the championship game scheduled for Sunday, May 20th. Go to www.WenatcheeWildHockey.com for more information.