January 25, 2013
WILD TAME BROWN BEARS IN SHOOTOUT
WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Wenatchee Wild needed to play more than 60 minutes of hockey for the second night in a row Friday against the Kenai River Brown Bears, but in the end they got what they wanted – a 2-1 shootout victory.
Chris Kerr (Penticton, British Columbia) put the Wild up 1-0 a little over four minutes into the first period when he sniped his 14thgoal of the season on a wrist shot from the top of the circles on a pass from Noah Nelson (Oconomowoc, Wis.).
Kerr’s goal stood as the game-winner for more than 55 minutes. The Brown Bears forced overtime, however, with a second remaining in regulation when Zac Lazzaro knocked in his team’s first goal of the game with a second left in regulation during a 6-on-4 situation. Conor Deal picked up the lone assist.
The game was decided in a shootout after a scoreless 5-minute overtime period. Jacob Barber (Dardenne Prairie, Mo.), Wenatchee’s second shooter, scored what would eventually count as the game-winning goal on a high wrist shot after coming to a near stop on his trek to the cage.
With Wild goalie Robert Nichols (Dallas, Texas) refusing to allow a shootout goal, Kerr was able to seal the win as his team’s fourth shooter when he lit the lamp on a top shelf backhander.
Nichols and Kenai River goalie Marcus Zelzer put on a show Friday. Nichols made 32 saves on 33 shots, including a trio of breakaways, to improve his record to 23-6-3. Zelzer made 29 saves on 30 shots, including a couple of ridiculous saves on Jono Davis (La Verne, Calif.).
“Robbie was [really good],” said Wild head coach Bliss Littler. “He had three or four saves that were spectacular. [Zelzer] was really good, too.”
The Wild went 0-for-5 on the power play while the Brown Bears went 1-for-5.
The Wild (28-6-4) will try to sweep this weekend’s 3-game series from the Brown Bears Saturday. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m.