Wenatchee Wild tame Grizzlies with early enslaught

Brian Drewry

The Victoria Grizzlies started a lengthy weekend road trip on the wrong foot Friday night, losing 6-0 in Wenatchee, Washington to the previously last-place Wild.

The Grizzlies were welcomed by a raucus near sell-out crowd of 2,557 at the Town Toyota Center and although Victoria escaped the first period down just 1-0, the Wild went, well, wild in the second period, firing 24 shots on goal and scoring three times to put the game away.

Wenatchee came into the game in last place in the B.C. Hockey League with a 3-10-1 record, but the Grizzlies (7-7-1-2), coming off a dominant 7-2 win over the Trail Smoke Eaters last Sunday, just couldn’t get their legs going after the long bus ride to central Washington state. After NCAA Dartmouth-bound Jason Stefanek opened the scoring on a mid-first period power play, Wenatchee got goals from Luke Weilandt, Micah Berger and Ean Somoza before the second period was six minutes old. That spelled the end of the night for Grizzlies starting netminder Oliver Auyeung-Ashton as he was replaced by Ansel Holt.

The veteran Holt held the fort until late in the third when ­Calgary Flames 2022 seventh-round draft pick Cade Littler and Jackson Ebbott scored power-play goals three minutes apart to lock down the victory.

Wenatchee poured 46 shots on the Victoria net, while Owen Millward picked up his second win of the season in the Wild net, making 24 saves for the shutout.

The Grizzlies now head north to Cranbrook where they’ll face the Bucks tonight.

LOOSE PUCKS: After the Cranbrook game tonight, the Grizzlies will be in Powell River for a pair of games against the Kings on Nov. 18-19.