A gritty Wenatchee comeback from a 3-0 deficit wasn’t enough to finish the job as the Cowichan Valley Capitals managed to pull out a 5-3 win in Tuesday’s Game 3 in Duncan, BC to take a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Wednesday in Duncan before shifting to Wenatchee for Game 5 on Friday.
The Capitals took a 1-0 lead in the last minute of the first period when a breakout pass got caught up in a Wild players skates and Brady Lynn was able to find it and snap it home. Cowichan Valley added a second goal when Cole Broadhurst drilled a shot out of the right circle through a screen, and Niko Selivanov picked the top corner glove side from the left circle after a failed zone clearing attempt.
Trailing 3-0, Wenatchee brought in Cal Sandquist to relieve Austin Park at the 8:18 mark. Lucas Sowder gave the Wild a spark when he buried a rebound just moments after the media timeout. Then in the final minute of the second, Nathan Iannone roofed a wraparound feed from Brian Adams and it was a 3-2 game after 40 minutes. The comeback was complete when Trevor Griebel drove home a crossing feed from Sowder to cap off a lengthy sequence of sustained offensive zone pressure, tying the game at 3-3 with 10:20 left to play in the third.
The Wild defense had stiffened, and the Capitals had just 2 shots on goal over the last 11 minutes of the second, and zero in the third for 13 minutes.
The first Capitals shot of the period was a no-look backhand whack from Paul Selleck after a Brady Lynn shot was blocked, and it found the back of the net to make it 4-3 Capitals, who would later add an empty netter for the final 5-3 margin. Wenatchee outshot Cowichan Valley, 31-19.
The best-of-seven series is now 2-1 in favor of Cowichan Valley and Game 4 is at Island Savings Centre on Wednesday night. Game 5 returns to Wenatchee on Friday March 22.