The Wild were averaging a hearty five goals per game as they came out of the chute with a 4-1-0 start, but the goals became scarce over a three-game losing skid that saw the Wild light the lamp just twice. On Saturday night in Trail, the offense returned and, coupled with a solid defensive performance, helped the Wild get back in the win column with a 5-2 win over the Smoke Eaters on the road in Trail, BC.
Wenatchee allowed the first goal of the game in the opening period as Mack Byers got a piece of a shot on the power play that nicked the post and into the net at 5:28. Wenatchee answered to tie the game on a play that developed as a result of Drake Usher being willing to take a big hit to make a play. Knowing he was about to get hit, he stepped up at the midpoint to keep the puck in the zone, sending it to Murphy Stratton on the right side. Stratton spotted Christophe Fillion across the way and snapped it across where Fillion wired it home to even the score at 10:14 of the first.
Past the midway point of the game, Wenatchee grabbed the lead when Cristophe Tellier tipped a Murphy Stratton wrister from the left circle that sailed past the Trail goaltender for a 2-1 lead. Josh Arnold added another Wild tally with 1:40 left in the middle frame as he swatted home a loose puck with a backhand, the assist credited to Blake Bargar and the Wild led 3-1 after two periods.
The Wild took two penalties early in the third, and with a 5-on-3 advantage, Trail cut the Wild lead to 3-2 on a Michael Hodge goal at 1:36. Wenatchee regained their two-goal cushion when Chad Sasaki fired a sharp wrister from the high slot over the glove of Adam Marcoux for a 4-2 lead at 9:41. The Wild capped the scoring with Christophe Fillion burying his second of the night at 14:23, as Murphy Stratton collected his fourth assist of the game. The line of Fillion, Tellier, and Stratton combined for 9 points on the night and Austin Park stopped 20 of 22 shots to earn his third victory.
Wenatchee (5-4-0) has just two more road games before the Home Opener, Thursday night at Prince George (6-1-1) and Saturday at Chilliwack (7-2-0). The Wild Home Opener will be Friday October 12 against the Nanaimo Clippers, and will feature the unveiling of the Championship Banners, a Ring Ceremony, and more.