Wenatchee Wild Poised For Playoff Push
The Wenatchee Wild will play most of the remaining '22-23 regular season games on home ice at Town Toyota Center. Austin Draude, the Wild's radio announcer and media manager says the team has played more games than other clubs in the league and is in good position to climb the standings and improve it's playoff position.
The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) regular season comes to a close in late March. Wenatchee played a lengthy road schedule to open the season and will enjoy the benefit of more home dates over the final nine weekends of the season. The Wild will play Friday/Saturday games through March 25th with six of the nine weekend series at Town Toyota Center.
The playoff push begins this weekend versus the Vernon Vipers Jan. 27th/28th Vernon leads the Wild by a point in the division standings so Wenatchee can climb a rung in the playoff ladder depending on the series outcome.
Both games are live on KPQ Radio Friday at 6:50pm, Saturday at 5:50pm and by subscription at BCHL TV
We asked Austin Draude how he is acclimating to life in Wenatchee after the move here from Mason City, Iowa where he broadcast games for the North Iowa Bulls of the NAHL
KPQ: Your spare time is limited but what are some of your favorite local sights since you arrived at the beginning of the season?
Austin Draude: "I really like the Pybus Public Market but I need to check out more of the places to eat down there. It's a neat atmosphere with a lot of great shops that I need to explore some more. Leavenworth is magical and everything people say it is. Chelan, Waterville, very cool little towns"
KPQ: Have you visited Seattle and what did you think of the Emerald City?
Austin Draude: "There is a certain public market there that reminds me of the entrance to Pybus Market here. I found the famous fish throwers (in Pike Place Market) and walk along the waterfront and take a few pictures. It was gray and cold and rainy so it was the perfect Seattle day on the day I was there. Pioneer Square, King Street Station... it's fantastic down there"
KPQ: You attended a Seattle Kraken game. Would WIld fans enjoy the Kraken game experience at Climate Pledge Arena?
Austin Draude: "They put on a real show with all the interactivity they do and to be in the middle of a crowd of 18-thousand doesn't hurt"
KPQ: Where are the people the most friendly--Wenatchee, the midwest or British Columbia?
Austin Draude: "It's hard to beat Minnesota Nice so the midwest is very welcoming but the reception here has been great and also in British Columbia as well"
KPQ: In your spare time in the off season, what are your favorite pastimes?
Austin Draude: "I'm a huge reader and one of the things I enjoyed doing back home in Mason City was heading to a city park near Clear Lake near the water and spend hours reading. I have a feeling I'll be doing that here near the river. Going out for short hikes and getting the card filled up on the camera a little bit. That's one of the things I'm looking forward to doing is trying to fine tune the photo skills in a way that doesn't involve hockey"