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January 15, 2013

January 12, 2013


Earn back-to-back road shutout wins

FRESNO, Calif. – On Friday, the Wenatchee Wild used a 3-goal second period to defeat the Fresno Monsters. On Saturday, it was a 3-goal first period that propelled the Wild to a 5-0 victory and a 2-game sweep over the Monsters at the Selland Arena in Fresno, Calif.

Trace Redmond (McKinney, Texas) staked the Wild to a 1-0 lead 3:24 into the contest when he knocked in a rebound off Evan Schmidbauer’s (Surrey, British Columbia) shot. Blake Butzow (Plymouth, Mich.) earned the secondary assist.

Chris Kerr (Penticton, British Columbia) doubled Wenatchee’s lead to 2-0 a little more than a minute after Redmond’s opening goal when he banged in a pass from Noah Nelson (Oconomowoc, Wis.) in the low slot. Derick Kuchera (Eagan, Minn.) began the scoring sequence to earn the second assist.

Kerr scored his second goal of the game roughly 10 minutes after his first tally to increase Wenatchee’s lead to 3-0. Entering the offensive zone down the left wing on a 2-on-3, Nelson got around a defender and centered a deft pass to Kerr, who tapped it in for his 13th marker of the season. Max McHugh (Edgewood, Wash.) also assisted.

After a scoreless second period the Wild added two more goals in the final 20 minutes of regulation to earn the 5-0 win. McHugh gave the Wild a 4-0 lead 7:21 into the third period when he scored on a backhander from the slot during a man-advantage. Brian Williams (San Diego, Calif.) and Joe Sullivan (Las Vegas, Nev.) earned the assists on crisp accurate passes during the power play. Schmidbauer went on to close out scoring less than eight minutes into the final stanza when he notched an unassisted goal.

Goaltender Nick Schmit (Fargo, N.D.) turned aside all 21 shots he faced Saturday to earn his first shutout with the Wild. Schmit’s 21-save shutout came 24 hours after Robert Nichols (Dallas, Texas) collected his sixth shutout of the season Friday with a 24-save effort that helped the Wild earn a 3-0 win in the first game of the series.

The Wild scored two power-play goals on five chances Saturday while the Monsters went 0-for-8 on the man-advantage.

“The last few games we have been generating some quality chances,” Littler said of his team’s power play unit, “and it was nice to see a couple pucks go in the net Saturday. … I thought we played well this weekend.”

Kerr led the Wild with two goals Saturday while Schmidbauer (1G, 1A), McHugh (1G, 1A) and Nelson (2A) each recorded two points apiece.

Coming off a 2-game road sweep, the Wild (26-5-3) will play their next eight games at home beginning with a 2-game rematch against the Monsters this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 18-19). Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m.