For the third consecutive night, the Wenatchee (Wash.) Wild and Kenai River Brown Bears found themselves going to overtime. And for the third straight night, the Wild prevailed. Although this time, it was not via shootout.
Wenatchee took Saturday night’s game 2-1 after Troy Loggins scored 42 seconds into overtime, giving the Wild a fourth straight victory over Kenai River after the Bears started the season with five straight over the Wild.
The win also lifted the Wild (22-17-5) past the Bears (21-17-6) into the fourth and final playoff spot in the North American Hockey League Midwest Division standings. Wenatchee has 49 points while Kenai River has 48. The two squads were tied coming into the day.
“I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s the same old deal the last three games,” said Kenai River coach Geoff Beauparlant. “We battled hard in the third period to capitalize and tie the game, but we’re still not doing the little things that it takes to win a hockey game.”
Wenatchee outshot Kenai River 13-8 in the first period Saturday, and the Wild’s efforts paid off with a goal 48 seconds from the end of the period from Loggins.
From there, the Bears ramped up their efforts by outshooting Wenatchee 11-8 in each of the last two periods. Matt Rudin managed to tie the game early in the third period, unassisted, by getting a wrap-around shot from behind Wild goalie Chase Perry.
“It was well-executed, we got through their defensive zone coverage,” Beauparlant said. “I know when we’re executing and playing good hockey we’re a tough team to beat.”
The tie held until the end of regulation, but the overtime period didn’t last long.
“It’s frustrating because we felt prepared and did a lot of good things leading up to this weekend,” Beauparlant said. “Ultimately (Wenatchee) wanted it more and wanted to be in fourth place more than we did.
“We cannot rely on other teams to get us in.”
Beauparlant noted that he was impressed by the play of goalie Zach Quinn, who stopped 29 of 31 shots on goal.
“He keeps standing on his head game after game,” Beauparlant said. “We don’t give him any type of goal support, and it’s scary that we don’t have any support for him. When you’re only giving up one or two goals a game, you should win more.”
Wild 2, Brown Bears 1, OT
Wenatchee 1 0 0 1 —2
Kenai River 0 0 1 0 —1
First period — 1. Wenatchee, Loggins (Gotelaere), 19:12. Penalties — Wenatchee 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.
Second period — none. Penalties — Wenatchee 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 2 for 12:00.
Third period — 2. Kenai River, Rudin (un.), 3:42. Penalties — Wenatchee 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 1 for 2:00.
Overtime — 3. Wenatchee, Loggins (Powlowski), 0:42.
Shots on goal — Wenatchee 13-8-8-2—31; Kenai River 8-11-11-0—30.
Goalies — Wenatchee, Perry (30 shots, 29 saves); Kenai River, Quinn (31 shots, 29 saves).
Power plays — Wenatchee 0 for 2; Kenai River 0 for 5.