Wenatchee Wild overcome shaky start to beat Steinbach Pistons

Down 2-0 six minutes into their second RBC Cup match, the BCHL champs roared back for a 4-3 win.

The Wenatchee Wild faced a tough task Sunday afternoon as they played their second game of the 2018 RBC Cup tournament.

Just 16 hours after beating the Chilliwack Chiefs 2-1 in overtime Saturday night, the Wild had to get their legs moving again in an afternoon game against the Manitoba champion Steinbach Pistons.

Wenatchee sucked it up and, carried by the star power of Jasper Weatherby and AJ Vanderbeck, overcame an ugly start to record a 4-3 win at Prospera Centre.

Wild goaltender Austin Park was a big part of that ugly start, getting the hook just 5:06 in after giving up two goals on four shots.

The first came off the stick of Luke Bellerose, set up by Brady Tatro. Tatro earned the assist with a hot shot that Park couldn’t absorb. Bellerose caught up to the rebound as it caromed off to the right and slipped a sharp-angle shot through the legs of the Wenatchee keeper, who was late sliding across to his post.

One hundred and 53 seconds later, Steinbach forward Austin Heidemann took a lead pass from Bradley Schoonbaert, flew into the Wild zone, skated wide around D-man Slava Demin and snuck another five-hole shot through Park.

Into the game came Seth Eisele, not seen since game one of Wenatchee’s second round BCHL playoff series versus Vernon.

Eisele was both good and lucky as he shook off nearly two months worth of rust. Good making point-blank stops on Heidemann and Drew Worrad. Lucky when Steinbach forward Jack Johnson went end-to-end and split the Wild D, only to have the puck roll off his stick at the end.

Wenatchee started to push back late in the opening frame, and cut the lead in half with a last-minute snipe by Weatherby.

The Lummi Island native started his own scoring play with some good mucking on the forecheck behind the Piston net. The 19 year old looped into the high slot, collected a pass from linemate Vanderbeck and went crossbar and in with a lazer shot.

The BCHL MVP was at it again in the first minute of period two, tying the game just 21 seconds in.

Vanderbeck created a turnover steps inside the Steinbach blueline and flipped the puck ahead to Weatherby, who dangled his way past Pistons D-man Darby Gula and cut across the goal-mouth, sliding a backhand shot inside the right post.

The Weatherby line tilted the rink for the rest of the middle frame, and the Wild outshot Steinbach 15-4, but the efforts of goalie Matthew Thiessen helped the Pistons escape to the intermission in a 2-2 tie.

Steinbach restored their lead early in period three on a goal by Daniel McKitrick.

Defenceman Mark Wilson earned an assist, directing a wrist shot toward the net from the point. The puck hit traffic in front and found the stick of Tyson McConell, who put a backhand pass across the goal-mouth for McKitrick to bury. But Steinbach’s happiness lasted just 87 seconds before a Zak Galambos power play goal, set up by Weatherby, tied it up once more.

Wenatchee grabbed the winning goal at 7:31 off the stick of Vanderbeck, who beat Thiessen with a slap shot rocket from the top of the right faceoff circle.

With time winding down in the game and his team down by one, Steinbach bench boss Paul Dyck was never able to get his goalie to the bench. Thiessen was looking to come off and even made it as far as the bench with 20 seconds to play, but no one came over the boards to replace him and he scrambled back into his cage.

He was still in the net when the final whistle blew.

Wenatchee’s Player of the Game was Weatherby and Steinbach’s was Heidemann.

The RBC Cup continues tonight (Sunday) at 7 pm as Chilliwack plays the Ottawa Jr. Senators.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Hwy. 5 open south of Blue River following ‘vehicle incident’

Social media reports say a semi-truck lost its load

This morning’s road conditions

Watch for slippery sections on much of Highway 5

Editor, The Times:

District of Clearwater invites local organizations to participate in Hockey Days

Playing Pickleball could be your New Years resolution

Pickleball is instrumental in helping with both physical and mental health

Horsing around on skis

A skijoring practice is set for Jan. 19 at Smokin True Ranch

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Most Read