Photo Credit: Tami Quan Photography
March 11th, 2019
WENATCHEE WAS. – After trailing 3-2 in the best of seven series, the Wenatchee Wild storm right back and win two games in a row to eliminate the West Kelowna Warriors Monday night.
Warriors Head Coach and General Manager Brandon West stated before the game that not only does his club need a power play goal to get the special teams going. West got that and more with Lucas Cullen scoring the first goal on the man advantage tipping a Wyatt Head wrist shot from the point to get the Warriors on the board early. Only about a minute later the second line got going with Willie Reim wristing a puck past Wild goaltender Austin Park to extend the lead to 2-0 heading into the dressing room.
The dreaded second period has been a problem for the Warriors in this series. Only twice have the Warriors been the better club in the second frame and they wanted to make sure they could keep the multi goal lead, unfortunately that wasn’t the case in game 7. The Wild would get not one, not two, but three goals in a row from their Captain Lucas Sowder to come back and take a 3-2 lead. Then the pressure in the Warriors end would continue with defender Avery Winslow blocking a Warriors clearing and giving it to his veteran winger Murphy Stratton. Stratton would have all the time in the world to wait for PJ Fletcher going to the net, and Fletcher would one time the puck past Connor Hopkins to extend the Wild lead to a pair heading into the dressing room.
The Warriors got the push they needed in the final frame using the same move they used in game six springing Lucas Cullen loose on a breakaway and this time he beat Austin Park and the goal counted to cut the lead to one creating a very exciting finish. In the final minutes however a turnover in the neutral zone would put Wild forwards Blake Barger and PJ Fletcher on an odd man rush and Fletcher made no mistake scoring his second of the night to make it 5-3 Wild. The Wild would add an empty net goal courtesy of Brian Adams to make it 6-3 ending the game and ending the season for the West Kelowna Warriors.
Shots on goal 39-37 in favor of the Wild.
- WEN F Lucas Sowder (3G-1A)
- WEN F PJ Fletcher (2G-1A)
- WEN F Matt Gosiewski (2A)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game:
WKW F Lucas Cullen (2G)