BLAINE, Minn. – The Wenatchee Wild showed speed at the 10th Annual Showcase Tournament in Blaine, Minn. They showcased scoring touch, a potent power play and solid defensive play as well.
On Saturday the Wild showed that they can come from behind, defeating the Brookings Blizzard 5-2 on the final day of competition at the Showcase Tournament after trailing 1-0 at the first intermission.
Wenatchee was one of three teams to finish the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record, but lost out on the title to the Texas Tornado on a goal differential tiebreaker.
Nonetheless, it was a tremendous start for the Wild, who last went 4-0 at the Showcase Tournament in 2009.
“I thought we got better as the games went on,” Wild head coach Bliss Littler said Saturday night. “I was really pleased with that.”
Wenatchee trailed for the first time in the tournament Saturday when Thomas Williams scored on a breakaway with 9:08 remaining in the first stanza.
The Wild responded with four unanswered goals in the second period. Jono Davis (La Verne, Calif.) started the scoring spree 78 seconds into the period when he used a backhand-to-forehand move during a breakaway that tied up the game, 1-1. Dillon Eichstadt (Bemidji, Minn.) gave Wenatchee its first lead with 5:53 left in the second period when he rifled a shot into the cage from the left circle during a man-advantage.
Max McHugh (Edgewood, Wash.) and Chris Kerr (Penticton, British Columbia) scored the Wild’s third and fourth goals, respectively. Kerr’s marker came on a 2-on-1 situation. He looked off a pass, then snapped the puck into the far side of the cage to give the Wild a 4-1 lead heading into the third period.
Blake Roubos (Niagara Falls, Canada) scored Wenatchee’s fifth straight goal 7:25 into the third period on a deflection. Dylan Zink scored Brookings’ final goal of the contest on a power play with a little over seven minutes remaining in regulation.
Chris Diver (Wilmington, Del.) and Noah Nelson (Oconomowoc, Wis.) each notched two assists for the Wild.
Jordyn Kaufer (Stillwater, Minn.), who was making his first start with the Wild, made 13 saves on 15 shots to earn his first win. Nick Deery made 38 saves on 43 shots for Brookings. The Wild went 1-for-8 on the power play while Brookings went 1-for-6.
Wenatchee’s Josh Hartley (Coquitlam, Canada) recorded six points during the tournament (3G, 3A), which tied him for the most among all defensemen.
“He’s definitely an offensive defenseman,” Littler said of Hartley. “He’s getting better defensively, and he made a lot of things happen. He was very aggressive and, overall, I was very happy with his play.”
The Wild (4-0) are on the road Friday and Saturday (Sept. 21-22) for a pair of games against the Minot Minotauros.