Record Crowd Cheers Wenatchee Wild On To 5-1 Win
By Austin Draude, Wenatchee Wild Media Relations & Broadcast Manager
WENATCHEE, Wash. – The annual Guns & Hoses Night is always a special evening for the Wenatchee Wild, and usually one of their biggest home crowds of the regular season. The Wild knew how big Saturday’s home crowd at Town Toyota Center might be. Little did they know, however, how special an evening it would also be. Wenatchee roared to a 5-1 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs in front of 4,260 fans, only its second capacity crowd in its British Columbia Hockey League era and first in regular-season play. Saturday’s figure marks the largest crowd to see a regular-season contest in Wenatchee since March 19, 2011, and the third-largest regular-season crowd in team history.
The Wild headlined the on-ice action by tallying three power play goals in the game’s final 20 minutes, and seeing their captain reach a career milestone in the process. The hosts grabbed the lead first at 12:02 of the opening period when Luke Weilandt found Micah Berger’s pass in front of the net before flicking it to the top corner for a 1-0 advantage.
Sasha Teleguine found Nathan Morin on the back post for the tying goal 8:45 into the second, but Weilandt redirected Travis Bohnet’s wrister from the left point to take the lead back with 6:05 left in the period. The power play charged into action in the third, starting with a left-wing one-timer from Cade Littler 4:26 into the period following a fiveminute butt-ending penalty against Michael La Starza.
A crazy stretch of the third period saw two Littler chances redirected for power play goals just 17 seconds apart – Parker Murray’s deflection with 3:56 remaining made it a 4-1 game, and Micah Berger sent a carom past Chillliwack netminder Austin McNicholas to make it 5-1 with 3:39 left.
“That’s a good hockey team over there,”. “I don’t want to say we kept it close, but we smothered them pretty well for a period and a half, and then we kept our discipline and they kind of lost theirs. We took advantage of it – it’s a big win for our guys.”
--Wild Dir. of Scouting & Asst coach Leigh Mendelson
Cade Littler’s four points headlined the effort, becoming the 17th player in Wenatchee history to reach the 100-point mark for his career. Weilandt notched two goals, tallying in his fifth consecutive game, while Ean Somoza earned two assists to stretch his point streak to 11 straight games. The Wild went 3-for-5 on the power play, their ninth straight game with at least one goal on the man-advantage, while the Chiefs finished without a power play goal in four opportunities.
Wenatchee earned its eighth win in its last 10 outings, moving to 24-21-1-2 for the year, while the Chiefs slipped to 24-19-1-3 with the loss. The Wild head on their final road trip of the regular season next Friday and Saturday with visits to Merritt and Salmon Arm. Friday’s opening puck drop against the Centennials is slated for 7 p.m., with live coverage on Newsradio 560 KPQ and BCHL TV.
Merritt visits Wenatchee on March 17 for St. Hattrick’s Night to begin a season-ending four-game homestand. Fred Page Cup playoffs, updated news and information on Wild hockey are always available through the team’s website and on the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.