PHOTO: Wenatchee Wild forward Kenta Isogai skates past the Wenatchee bench Wednesday after scoring his second goal of the Western Hockey League postseason against the Kelowna Rockets. Kelowna picked up a 3-1 win to take a three-games-to-one lead in their best-of-seven playoff series ahead of Game 5 on Friday. (Photo courtesy: Steve Dunsmoor/Kelowna Rockets)

By Austin Draude Wenatchee Wild Media Relations

KELOWNA, British Columbia – The summary for Friday’s upcoming Wenatchee Wild playoff game against the Kelowna Rockets is simple: it’s Game 5 to stay alive.

Kelowna scored two goals in the first period Wednesday, and despite a 17-shot second period and a hard-fought effort in the third, only Kenta Isogai hit the back of the cage for Wenatchee in a 3-1 loss. Kelowna extended its lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal round to three games to one as the series shifts back to Town Toyota Center this weekend.

9:08 into the game, and 26 seconds into its first power play, the Rockets notched their first lead of the night on a scramble in front – Max Graham pushed the puck to the net, and the Wild clearing attempt connected with two defenders before caroming back into the cage. With 5:30 left in the period, Kelowna made it a 2-0 game when Hiroki Gojsic connected with Tij Iginla on a rink-wide pass, and Iginla drove the puck to the net before wristing it into the top of the Wenatchee net.

The second period was a dominant effort for the Wild, and they were rewarded at the 3:29 mark, when Karter Prosofsky caught Isogai in transition at the Rockets’ blue line – Isogai’s snap shot rang just inside the top of the net, cutting the Kelowna margin back to 2-1. Despite their efforts to even up the game, though, the final goal went to the Rockets – with 11:02 remaining, Andrew Cristall sent a pass to Gabriel Szturc at the edge of the slot, and his wrist shot hit the back of the net to stretch the Kelowna lead back to two goals.

Jari Kykkanen picked up the win with 34 saves, while Daniel Hauser took the loss despite making 30 saves of his own. The Rockets were 4-for-5 on special teams, going 1-for-2 on the power play and turning away all three Wenatchee chances. Szturc and Cristall had the game’s only multi-point showings for the hosts.

“We gave up two goals in the first and battled back,” said Wild head coach Roy Sommer. “We had a really good second and third (period) – I thought we dominated the game. We deserved a better outcome, and we’ve got to find a way to get some pucks past a hot goalie.”

NewsRadio 560 KPQ logo
Get our free mobile app

The series returns to Wenatchee for Game 5 Friday evening, with the opening puck drop at Town Toyota Center scheduled for 7 p.m.  LIVE coverage begins at 6:45pm on KPQ AM560/FM101.7 and live streamed on or the KPQ app.

Tickets for Friday’s game are on sale now at 509-888-7825, or by visiting the team office at Town Toyota Center.


More From NewsRadio 560 KPQ