Wenatchee, WA. – Jacob Barber (Dardenne Praire, Missouri) tallied a goal in each of the first two periods Saturday night, leading the Wenatchee Wild to a dominant 6-1 win over the Fresno Monsters, in front of 3,417 fans at the Town Toyota Center.
The Wild struck first, as a slapper snuck through and trickled into the net 8:50 into the opening period. Brian Williams (San Diego, California) got credit for his 4th goal of the season, with Dylan Abood (Centennial, Colorado) and Chris Jones (Normandy Park, Washington), who took the shot from the left point, getting the assists on the goal that put Wenatchee up 1-0. The lead grew not quite 6 minutes later, as Barber one-timed a pass from Jono Davis (La Verne, California) out of the low slot and into the net. Max McHugh (Edgewood, Washington) drew the second assist on the goal, Barber’s 16th, putting the Wild up 2-0 at 14:14.
Fresno got one back in the second period, as Mitchell Snyder bounced a shot off the post and in at 11:29, drawing the visitors to within one on the unassisted goal, at 2-1. Barber’s second goal of the game, this one on the power play from right out in front, restored the two-goal lead 63 seconds later. The goal, coming at 12:32, was assisted by Chris Kerr (Penticton, British Columbia) and Noah Nelson (Oconomowoc, Wisconsin), putting Wenatchee up 3-1.
The lead would grow in the third period. An opportunistic Evan Schmidbauer (Surrey, British Columbia) flipped home a rebound of a Josh Hartley (Coquitlam, British Columbia) shot at 6:19 for his 10th goal of the season, then 35 seconds later, Kerr took a feed from Nelson and tucked home his 16th goal at 6:54, increasing the Wild lead to 5-1. Davis would score his 29th goal of the season, taking the puck off a neutral zone faceoff, curling around a defender on the left wing, and then tucking one through the goal pads and in at 14:31. McHugh and Barber drew the assists on the goal Wenatchee would skate home from there to the 6-1 win.
Nick Schmit (Fargo, North Dakota) backstopped the Wild to the win, stopping 21 Monster shots. Macauley Haight was busy in the Fresno net, stopping 41 Wenatchee shots. The Wild were 1 for 3 on the power play and 1 of 1 on the penalty kill.
Head Coach Bliss Littler was pleased with the effort his team put forth in the win. “I thought we had good goaltending, we had all six D move their feet, I thought our energy level was very good from all four lines. As much traveling as both these teams have done, I thought our energy level was very good tonight. I was happy.”
The win improved Wenatchee’s record to 36-8-5 on the season, the Monsters fall to 14-29-6.
The Wild are home tomorrow (Sunday) to play the Fresno Monsters once again, with face-off set for 5:05pm. Wenatchee then heads North to Alaska for six games starting next week at Fairbanks (8:00pm PST on Thursday, March 7th, 8:30pm PST on Friday and Saturday, March 8th and 9th), before moving on to Kenai River for three games (8:05pm PST on March 14th, 8:30pm PST on Friday and Saturday, March 15th and 16th) the following week. The Wild will then close out the regular season with a four-game home-and-home series versus Fresno, with games in Wenatchee on Friday and Saturday, March 22nd and 23rd (7:05pm PST both nights), then in Fresno on Friday and Saturday, March 29th and 30th (7:35pm PST both nights). Individual and group game tickets for all remaining home games are on sale now. Call 509.888.PUCK (7825).