The Wenatchee Wild played a tight, close game on the road at Victoria on Saturday night for two periods but the Grizzlies pulled away in the third period to defeat the Wild, 4-1.
The Grizzlies controlled the first half of the opening period, taking a 1-0 lead just over four minutes into the game after creating a neutral zone turnover that Alex Newhook tapped home on the give-and-go with Riley Hughes. Victoria doubled their lead on a power play with Cam Thompson scoring from the left circle after Wild goalie Cal Sandquist had been knocked off his feet. The Wild got a spark in the final seconds of the period. Matt Dorsey skated down the right wing and centered a pass for Blake Bargar, but the pass was partially tipped and Bargar couldn’t get the shot he wanted, but the loose puck was flicked home by Chad Sasaki with 1.2 seconds on the clock. Victoria had outshot Wenatchee 8-1 in the first 10 minutes, but Wenatchee outshot the Grizzlies 8-2 in the second half of the period.
The Wild took an unusually high number of penalties (7) but killed off three in the second period and were still within a goal after 40 minutes. Victoria struck quickly to open the third period on a rush that finished with three quick passes after entering the zone, finished by Kyle McGrath for a 3-1 lead just :17 seconds in. The Grizzlies added one more on a Henri Schriefels tip at 12:10, and the Wild were held to just 3 shots on goal in the final period. Both goaltenders made some highlight reel saves, notably Sandquist denying Riley Hughes in the third period and Kurtis Chapman stoning Christophe Fillion in the second on a backhander at point blank range.