The Wenatchee Wild returned to the friendly confines of Town Toyota Center looking to gain an edge in their best-of-seven series with the Cowichan Valley Capitals after trading wins through the first four games. They needed overtime to get it done, but with a 2-1 win and now a 3-2 series lead, the Wild can close out the series when Game 6 returns to Vancouver Island on Sunday.
Wenatchee put together another solid first period, outshooting the Capitals 11-3 in a scoreless frame. The Wild converted a power play goal to take a 1-0 lead at 9:42 of the second as PJ Fletcher buried a crisp pass from Murphy Stratton finishing on the glove side of goalie Pierce Diamond. The 1-0 lead stood past the midway point of the third period when the Capitals were able to even score while skating 4-on-4 as Doug Scott swept home a loose puck following a net front scramble at 13:05. The game would eventually be decided in overtime.
After a brief delay due to a lighting malfunction, play got underway and the Wild went on a power play when Murphy Stratton was taken down on the right wing entering the zone. As the Wild crisply zipped the puck around the zone, PJ Fletcher made a gorgeous behind-the-back dish to Matt Dorsey who lifted it upstairs for the game winner at 4:26 of the extra session. Austin Park stopped 17 of 18 shots, improving to 6-2 in the postseason.
The Wild now lead the best-of-seven series three games to two. Game 6 will be played Sunday night at 7:05 at the Island Savings Centre in Duncan, BC. If needed, Game 7 would be in Wenatchee on Tuesday March 26.
AROUND THE BCHL: In the other Interior Conference series, Vernon now has a 3-2 series lead over Trail following a 5-2 home win, the first win by a home team in that series, which Trail once led, 2-0. Powell River and Victoria were tied at 2 games apiece but the Grizzlies won 4-2 on Friday night to go up 3-2 in that series. Both series will see Game 6 played on Saturday night. Prince George awaits the Island winner for the Coastal Conference Final after sweeping Chilliwack.