The Wenatchee Wild took a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-seven Doyle Cup with a 3-0 victory over the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Spruce Grove Saints on Saturday.
Wenatchee won Game 1 of the Pacific Region final between the BCHL and AJHL champions with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win. Riding the wave of excitement following the Wild’s first ever Fred Page Cup title victory over Prince George, close to 3,000 fans jumped at one more chance to cheer on the team as they finish out the season on the road.
Game 2 picked up where Game 1 left off. The teams had started to build a functional discord which served to heighten the tensions. The first two periods of the game were filled with hits, penalties, great saves, and a few shots that clanged off iron, but no goals.
The figurative ice was finally broken past the midway point of the third when Cooper Zech chipped the puck off the wall in his defensive zone ahead for Matt Dorsey, who moved it ahead to August Von Ungern-Sternberg. The speedy forward blazed around the Saints defenceman, cut to the net, and lifted the shot over the glove of goalie Nolan Kent to put the Wild up 1-0.
Wenatchee added two empty-net goals, first from Jasper Weatherby and another by AJ Vanderbeck for the 3-0 final to go 13-0 at home in the playoffs. Austin Park collected his third shutout in his last seven games with a sparkling 31-save outing.
In a predetermined arrangement set to limit costs and physical toll of lengthy cross-provincial travel, if either team won Games 1 and 2, the remaining games would be played at the rink of the AJHL representative. Thus, Wenatchee heads north to Spruce Grove with a 2-0 series lead and will play the duration of the series there.
If the Wild advance, the final stop is the Royal Bank Cup Tournament held in Chilliwack May 12-20.