The Wenatchee Wild skated away from the South Okanagan Events Centre Wednesday with a 3-2 double overtime victory. After collecting a loose puck in front of Vees goalie Adam Scheel, Jasper Weatherby faked circling the net and returned to beat Scheel on a wraparound and silenced the crowd of 3,108 (mostly Vees fans) with a minute remaining. Scheel was named the second star after stopping 36 shots.
“To lose the game like that is not a good feeling,” said Vees forward Dakota Boutin, who scored the 2-2 equalizer at 5:32 of the third period.”We came out a little slow but I felt we played well throughout the whole game. Just one bad lucky break and it’s in the net.”
The Wild outshot the Vees 15-5 in the second period and took a 2-1 lead into the intermission.
The Vees opened the scoring when Owen Sillinger, the game’s third star, capitalized on a turnover near centre ice while killing a five-minute major to Cassidy Bowes. The co-captain motored into the Wild zone and beat Austin Park with a deke. The Wild countered with their own short handed tally at 18:18 when August Von Ungern was able to handle the puck near centre ice after it hopped over the stick of a Vees player. Once in on Scheel, Von Ungern tucked a back under the goalies glove. Less than a minute later, the Wild took a lead on Murphy Stratton’s third of the season. He was able to deflect a Slava Demin shot.
The Wild was given the chance to blow the game open when Bowes received major penalty for kneeing and game misconduct. During that same power play, Nicky Leivermann was given a two-minute minor for high sticking. The Vees penalty skill was strong not giving the Wild many opportunities while down two men for two minutes. Fans rose from their seats to applaud the effort.
“Killing off all those penalties was huge. That really got the boys going,” said Boutin. “Especially the crowd getting into it after you get the puck out it gets us going.”
The opening period was scoreless with the Wild edging the Vees in shots 12-11. The Wild went 0-for-6 on their power play, while the Vees were 1-for-6. The loss drops the Vees to 9-2-0-2 and the Wild are now 10-5-0-1. Jonny Tychonick was named the FortisBC Energy Player of the Game.
The Vees and Wild won’t meet again until Dec.29 and 30 at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee. Penticton native Nathan Iannone dressed for the Wild, but was kept off the scoresheet. In 16 games for the Wild, Iannone has a goal and four points. He joined the Wild in a trade from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Next up for the Vees are the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (6-6-2-1) on Friday at the SOEC. The teams last met in Chilliwack during the BCHL Showcase with the Vees earning a 3-2 come-from-behind victory. The loss to the Wild is the first time this season the Vees have been downed in back-to-back games. Boutin said they have to forget about Wednesday’s defeat and focus on the Bulldogs.
“That’s what you have to do following a loss, you have to bounce back,” he said. “Expect us to bounce back this weekend.”
After Friday’s game at home, the Vees will head to the Kootenay’s to take on the Trail Smoke Eaters, who heading into the weekend, are 10-4-1-0. In other BCHL action Wednesday, the Victoria Grizzlies earned a 4-1 road victory over Nanaimo.