TRAIL, BC-The Wenatchee Wild season-high win streak of nine games began following a 3-2 loss at Trail on Nov. 16. On Wednesday night that streak ended as the Trail Smoke Eaters used a combination of weird hops, turnovers, and opportunistic conversions to hand the Wild a 5-2 loss.
The opening 90 seconds saw each team with unusually great scoring chances for such an early point in the game, but at 2:57 it was Trail grabbing the opening tally, after a quick toe save by Austin Park yielded a rebound punched home by Spencer McLean. Wenatchee tied it up at 15:44 when Blake Bargar redirected a PJ Fletcher pass from the left circle and the game was tied at 1-1 after 20 minutes. Trail retook the lead when Kent Johnson stole the puck from Austin Park in the corner and tossed it out front where Braeden Tuck drove it home before Park could get back in position, the goal prompting a Wild goalie change. A minute and a half later, McLean nicely tipped a Tuck shot from the right point on the power play that sailed just over the glove hand of Cal Sandquist and Trail led 3-1. A game-changing sequence came midway through the period. Lucas Sowder appeared to score a shorthanded goal (as evidenced by the goal light coming on and affirmation from the goal judge) but play continued and Trail advanced with a 3-on-0 break, scoring on the third rebound attempt as the Wild scrambled to regroup after what they thought was a shorthanded goal. Instead of trailing 3-2, the Wild were suddenly down 4-1. Matt Gosiewski snapped home a power play goal at 11:31 to close the gap to 4-2, and that’s where the score remained after two periods. Trail added one more in the third as a clearing pass was picked off and fired on net, which Sandquist denied but the rebound bounced off the skate of Owen Ozar and then off the skate of a Wild defenseman into the net for the 5-2 lead that proved to be the final.
The Wild slip into second place in the Interior Division, as the Penticton Vees defeated Vernon 2-1 on Wednesday to move one point ahead of the Wild.
Wenatchee (22-11-2) returns home for a pair of games against the Vernon Vipers (12-15-6-3) on Friday and Saturday. The games will be available for video streaming on HockeyTV, and will be broadcast live both locally and via internet stream on “NewsRadio 560 KPQ”, with the Pregame Show starting at 6:45 pm.