Wenatchee, WA, USA: The Vernon Vipers peppered the Wenatchee goal and outshot them, but couldn’t find the back of the net as Austin Park turned aside 26 shots as the Wild evened the best of series at 1, with a 3-0 win.
The Vipers outshot the Wild in the opening period by an 11-9 margin. There were no powerplays and it was a very even frame. The Vipers may have had the edge in the quality scoring chances as Ben Sanderson was stopped on a partial breakaway and Lane Zablocki cranked one off the crossbar, but no one found the back of the net as the period finished scoreless.
The second period was pretty even. The Vipers again outshot the Wild, this time by an 8-4 margin and did not surrender much in the way of quality chances in Wenatchees favour. The Vipers ended up shorthanded just past the 4 minute mark, but the PK was able to come up with a big kill. Shortly after, Jacob Modry walked off the right wall to the blueline and let go a seeing eye wrister that found its way through. The Vipers had a nice pushback including a great chance for Connor Marritt on a breakaway, but narrowly missed the left post with the shot. The Vipers couldn’t find the equalizer and it was 1-0 Wild after 2 periods.
The Vipers continued to try push for the tying goal, but a penalty midway through the period put the Wild on the man advantage and it was a spectacular play from Brandon Koch to set up Matt Gosiewski that ended up in the back of the net to make it 2-0 Wild. The Vipers powerplay had two chances in the period and looked dynamic on one for which they held possession for the full two minutes, but the Wild were able to block a few to keep the Vipers off the board. The Vipers would pull Porter with 2 minutes to play and had a great chance from the player sneaking off bench but the net was missed. Wenatchee turned it up the ice and PJ Fletcher found the empty net to make the final 3-0.
The series will now switch back to Vernon for games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
PHOTO CREDIT: Russ Alman / Digital Media Northwest