The third meeting of the season tonight between the Rivermen and Wild is a big one to say the least. As it stands right now, Wenatchee is second place in the Mainland Division with 57 points, while the Riv sit two back at 55. Both squads were in action last night and both were able to squeak out one goal victories. The Riv were in Merritt and got a marker from Torrin White with less than three minutes to play to even up the score at 3-3 to force overtime. In 3 on 3 double OT, Matthew Graham played hero scoring his 20th of the season to get a much needed extra point for his club. Meanwhile, Wenatchee was in Surrey and beat the Eagles 4-3.
“It is always nice to win against a team that you are chasing in the standings, but I think it is important that we do not build it up too much and put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. At the end of the day, this is a team we could end up playing in the first round of the playoffs, so we have to set the tone and be ready to go from the drop of the puck,” said Rivermen Head Coach and GM Bobby Henderson.
The Rivermen offense continues to sizzle. In the last four games, the team has scored 19 goals and have hit the five goal mark in three out of their last four. Currently, the Riv have four players on the roster that are operating at a point per game clip, led by Graham, who has 52 points in 45 games.
“All four lines are clicking pretty good right now and our defensemen are doing a good job of moving the puck up to the forwards very quickly. The Wild play with good structure and are very well coached, so it should be a good battle tonight and hopefully we can get it done,” said Graham.
The Wild are a very well balanced team led by their goaltender Chase Perry, who is a Detroit Red Wings draft pick. Bemidji State commit Brendan Harris leads the offense with 44 points in 46 games. No team has more road wins in the Mainland Division than the Wenatchee Wild with 13 in 24 games. The Riv have the second most amount of home victories with 16 in 25 games.