FRESNO, Calif. – The Wenatchee Wild spotted the Fresno Monsters a 2-goal lead Friday before clawing back to earn a 3-2 shootout victory at the Selland Arena. It was Wenatchee’s second straight shootout victory and the second straight time that David Mead scored the game-winning goal.
Monster Kyle Sucher drew first blood 28 seconds after the opening faceoff on a top-shelf shot from the near point. Fresno doubled its lead two minutes and one second later when Trevor Husch came up with a turnover during a Wild power play and scored on an unassisted breakaway.
David Powlowski scored an important goal for the Wild with 2:08 remaining before the first intermission when he finished off a tic-tac-toe passing sequence with a glove-side wrister from the slot during a power play. Chris Kerr and Max McHugh set up Powlowski’s fourth marker of the season, which cut Fresno’s lead down to 2-1 heading into the second period.
The Wild buzzed around the Monster net like bees around a hive the rest of the game. Early in the second period, however, the Wild were unable to finish off a 2-on-1 chance and a 3-on-2 chance seconds later.
Evan Schmidbauer finally tied the game up, 2-2, with 10:58 left in the second frame when he buried a rebound on the backside of his blade. Trace Redmond and Tyler Bruneteau assisted on Schmidbauer’s sixth goal of the season, which was made possible after a Fresno defender turned the puck over behind his own net. In his third season with the Wild, Schmidbauer is on pace to produce his highest goal-scoring season since he scored nine goals in 49 games as a rookie in 2010-11.
Kerr had a good chance from the slot to score the game-winning goal with less than a minute remaining in overtime, but Fresno goalie Tomas Sholl cut the angle down and made a glove save.
Wenatchee forward Jono Davis put the Wild up 1-0 in the shootout but Daniel Rosse, Fresno’s next shooter, forced another tie when he scored on his forehand. Mead, Wenatchee’s final shooter, finally recorded the game-clinching goal when he scored from the hash marks. It was Mead’s second straight game-winning shootout goal with the last coming in a 5-4 win over Jamestown on Saturday.
Robert Nichols stopped all 17 shots he faced in nearly 58 minutes of relief work to earn his 16th win of the season.
The Wild (20-3-2) will try to sweep the Monsters Saturday. Faceoff is set for 7:35 p.m. back at the Selland Arena. Pre-game on 560 KPQ gets underway at about 7:20 p.m.