Thursday, May 23, 2024

Wild drop regular season finale in Everett Saturday, 6-2

Wenatchee finishes inaugural WHL season with 34 wins, will open playoffs against Kelowna Friday


EVERETT – With the goal of home-ice advantage achieved for the first round of the Western Hockey League playoffs, it was time for a few different faces to step into the Wenatchee Wild lineup.

Kenta Isogai and Karter Prosofsky enjoyed a well-earned evening off Saturday after blocking shots, and drawing a few dents and dings, throughout a 4-2 win over the Victoria Royals on Friday. Saturday’s game saw the Wild close out their inaugural regular season in the WHL with a 6-2 loss at the Everett Silvertips. Everett climbed to 44-18-2-3 with the win, while the Wild finished 34-30-4-0 heading into the opening round of the WHL playoffs next week.

Austin Roest cleaned up a rebound off of a Dominik Rymon shot at 2:44 of the first period, giving the Silvertips the 1-0 lead before they doubled the margin on the power play at 5:59 – with the Wild shorthanded on a too-many-men penalty, Parker Berge sent a shot on from the top of the zone and hit the top corner of the cage for a 2-0 lead.

With 5:39 left in the period, Ben Hemmerling walked the puck around the top of the crease for a point-blank chance on the net – his shot did not go through, but Julius Miettinen was waiting for a finishing tap, giving the ‘Tips a 3-0 advantage. Briley Wood put Wenatchee on the board with 2:40 left in the first, sending a shot through from the right point and off an Everett player to cut the lead to 3-1 at the break.

Everett doubled the lead to four goals in the middle 20 minutes, adding a 4-on-4 transition goal from Hemmerling on an odd-man rush at 1:59 and a goal from Lukas Kaplan at 6:38, following a shot from Caden Brown that initially failed to reach the net.

Wenatchee found plenty of life just 26 seconds out of the intermission, with Miles Cooper scoring to make it 5-2 after coming into the offensive zone behind a clearing attempt and hammering home a one-timer inside the left-wing circle. Everett got its last marker of the night with 7:30 to go, when a wraparound chance from Carter Bear ran away to the back post, where Roest found it loose for a tap-in.

“I thought there were some spurts where we played pretty good and we got some really good looks,” said head coach Roy Sommer. “The biggest thing was, everyone got an opportunity to play, so the guys that hadn’t gotten into a lot of games recently got a chance to play and see how they were progressing.”

Roest was one of five Silvertips with more than one point, but was the only one in the game with a pair of goals. Tyler Palmer made 28 saves, earning his 30th win of the season, and Everett finished 1-for-4 on the power play. For the Wild, Brendan Gee finished the season tied for the team lead in wins, taking the loss behind a 34-save performance and finishing his rookie WHL campaign at 17-13-1-0. Wood finished his final junior season with 62 points, while Graham Sward earned an assist and tied a team record for defensemen with his 81st point of the season.

By virtue of the Kelowna Rockets’ win over the Vancouver Giants on Saturday, the Rockets claimed the fifth seed in the Western Conference and will be the first-round playoff opponent for the Wild when the puck drops on Wenatchee’s first postseason as a WHL club. The best-of-seven series, presented locally by Windermere Real Estate, begins with Games 1 and 2 in Wenatchee on Friday and Saturday night. Friday’s game at Town Toyota Center is set for a 7 p.m. start.

Single-game playoff tickets go on sale Monday at 9 a.m., and full playoff packages will remain available through the beginning of the series. 2024-25 season tickets also remain on sale – updated news and information on Wild hockey are always available through the team’s website and on the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here