The Smoke Eaters were unable to take any points back with them as the Wild complete the three game weekend sweep over the Smoke Eaters 5-2 on Saturday night.
The Smoke Eaters came into this game needing a win to stay in the hunt for the 7th seed, while the Wild needed a win to secure their position. Wenatchee would open the scoring with a powerplay goal just under eight minutes into the game, as Quinn Emerson, the Wild captain, was the last man to get a touch on the bouncing puck in front of Owen Albers and make it 1-0 Wenatchee. The Wild however would be undisciplined on the goal as Cade Littler went into the scrum as the goal was scored and gave two cross checks to Evan Bushy who was already down on the ice in an attempt to block the puck. The Smoke Eaters would immediately go to the powerplay. They’d take advantage with Corey Cunningham scoring his 10th goal of the season to bring the game level.
The Wild would answer immediately after as well as Ean Somoza stepped around Albers to tuck the puck in 14 seconds after the Smoke Eaters tied the game.
The Wild would build upon their lead in the second as home side would score three in the second half of the period, two coming less than a minute apart with Overson scoring his first of the year, Emerson scoring his second of the night and Szydlowski scoring again on the powerplay to send the wild to the 2nd intermission up by four goals.
The Smoke Eaters would switch net minders as Ethan Shebansky was given the opportunity to close out the game, as he would play well stopping all 20 shots he faced, giving the Smoke Eaters an opportunity to claw back into the game. They would get one off the stick of Connor Michaud on the powerplay as he won the net front battle, got free and found the lose puck behind Vlaha to make it 5-2 with plenty of time to play.
That would be as close as the Smoke Eaters would get despite a solid push and a few close calls. The loss confirms the Smoke Eaters first round playoff matchup, as they’ll finish eight and take on the Penticton Vees in the first round, dates still to be decided. The Smoke Eaters have three more games on the regular season schedule with their next stop in Vernon on Wednesday night.