Wenatchee Wild Rally for OT Win in Kamloops on Armstrong Hat Trick
PHOTO: Wenatchee Wild forward Easton Armstrong lands in the middle of the celebration Sunday after scoring the game-winning goal in a 7-6 overtime win at the Kamloops Blazers. Armstrong had a hat trick in the game, posting a career-best five points. (Photo courtesy: Allen Douglas/Kamloops Blazers)
Austin Draude, Wenatchee Wild Media Relations & Broadcast Manager
KAMLOOPS, British Columbia – With two games to go in an eight-game road stretch, the Wenatchee Wild can officially call it a winning streak.
The Wild charged back from a 4-1 deficit early in the second period Sunday against the Kamloops Blazers, getting a hat trick from Easton Armstrong in a 7-6 overtime win. The victory marks the team’s first in overtime this year, and the second three-goal comeback for a win in the season’s opening three weeks.
Kenta Isogai set up Armstrong for the game’s first goal 2:45 into the game, with Armstrong tapping in the setup pass on the rush for a 1-0 Wild lead. Ashton Tait scored on the rebound to tie it for Kamloops with 7:29 left in the period, and a takeaway for Connor Levis led to a quick backhand goal with 5:40 left for a 2-1 lead at the break.
Dylan Sydor scored on the power play at 1:21 of the second period, and a redirect at the net from Bryce Minten 19 seconds later put the Blazers out front, 4-1. With 6:52 left in the period, though, Armstrong shoved the puck into the net in a brief scramble to cut the lead back to 4-2, and Karter Prosofsky’s shot from the top of the left-wing circle 50 seconds later dropped the lead to 4-3.
Andrew Thomson stretched the lead back out to two goals with 3:17 left in the period, tossing in a shot on a long rebound from Ashton Ferster’s initial chance. Graham Sward threw one through traffic from the top of the slot with 2:34 left in the period to cut the lead back down to one, and Miles Cooper cleaned up a loose puck in front of the net to tie the game with 55 seconds left in the period.
Levis tacked on his second goal with a one-timer in front at 6:37 of the third, but with the Wild net empty, Conor Geekie evened the game once more with a snipe from the left faceoff dot with 44 seconds remaining. Jonas Woo set up the game’s final goal, getting a redirect from Armstrong off of his forehand from the left point for the winner at the 1:37 mark of overtime.
“I was really proud of the guys again tonight,” said associate head coach Chris Clark. “Down 4-1 early in the second and down again late in the third, that game could have gotten away from us a few times tonight. I have to give a ton of credit to our leaders for keeping us in the game. ‘Army’ obviously had a huge night, and I was impressed with how hard he went to the net on all of them. I saw lots of good the last two nights for our group to build on moving forward.”
Armstrong posted a pair of assists to go with his hat trick, notching a career-best five points in the game. Cooper, Geekie and Woo all notched three points apiece – in all, six Wild players had multi-point showings. Wenatchee outshot its hosts 36-34, battling back from an 18-6 gap in the Blazers’ favor early in the second period. Each team went 1-for-4 on the power play in the game.
After back-to-back three-game weekends, next week’s schedule will be a quieter one as the Wild make their first of three visits to Seattle on Friday to square off against the Thunderbirds. Friday’s opening puck drop at accesso Showare Center in Kent is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with live coverage on Newsradio 560 KPQ and WHL Live.
The Wild return to home ice on Friday, October 20 vs. the Vancouver Giants.