Wenatchee’s Lucas Sowder sinks Chilliwack Chiefs with OT winner at RBC Cup

The Chiefs played well against the BCHL champion Wild, but fell 2-1 in their RBC Cup opener.

The Chilliwack Chiefs dropped their opener at the RBC Cup in heartbreaking fashion Saturday night, falling 2-1 in overtime to the Wenatchee Wild at Prospera Centre.

Playing their first game since early March against the reigning BCHL champs, with new head coach Brian Maloney running the bench, the home team turned in a workmanlike effort. But the same problem that haunted them throughout the regular season and first round of the playoffs came back to bite them again as they failed to score a key goal when it mattered most.

Wenatchee must have been kicking themselves for all the opportunities they squandered in the first period.

The Wild were handed three power plays by an amped-up undisciplined Chiefs squad, including a five-on-three for 75 seconds. But the normally potent Wenatchee PP led by BCHL MVP Jasper Weatherby came up empty. At even strength, Wild forward August (Baron) Von Ungern had a great chance to open the scoring when a neutral zone turnover gave him a breakaway from the Chilliwack blueline in. But Von Ungern failed to slip his blocker-side shot past Chiefs netminder Daniel Chenard, and the score was tied at zeroes through 20 minutes.

It was Chenard’s crew who opened the scoring with the only goal of the second period.

Skyler Brind’Amour started Chilliwack’s play with some good spade work to get the puck back to the right point. Kyle Yewchuk fired a wrist shot that slammed off the end boards behind the Wenatchee net and came out the other side. In the right place at the right time, Jared Turcotte collected the puck and rifled a sharp-angle shot past diving Wild keeper Austin Park.

The score stayed 1-0 until less than 10 minutes remained in the game.

Off an offensive zone draw in the Chilliwack zone, Weatherby got the puck to defenceman Cooper Zech, who wristed a high shot on goal from the point. The puck hit Chiefs D-man Powell Conner in the goal-mouth and bounced to the right, where AJ Vanderbeck was waiting to snipe a sharp-angle shot past Chenard.

Chilliwack had a glorious chance to end it in regulation when Wenatchee took a too-many-men bench minor with exactly two minutes to play, but the most exciting moment in the PP was Chiefs captain breaking Wild goalie Park’s mask with a high wrist shot, and off to overtime we went.

Ottawa took 69 seconds to end OT in a 2-1 win over Wellington earlier in the day and Lucas Sowder took 11 seconds to give the Wild a win in this one. Collecting the puck off the opening faceoff, the speedster built up speed flying into the Chilliwack zone, split Chiefs Marcus Tesink and Tommy Lee, and beat Chenard on a spectacular end-to-end rush.

Chilliwack’s Player of the Game award went to Jared Turcotte.

Wenatchee’s Player of the Game was Lucas Sowder.

The Chiefs return to action tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. start against the Eastern regional rep Ottawa Junior Senators.

Just Posted

Campbell River fire chief urges residents to respect fire ban

Prohibition on recreational fires comes into effect today at noon

Island hospitals test our their new helicopter sites

Tests included in-the-air analysis and on-the-ground exercise

City of Campbell River proposes pot shop restrictions

City intends to limit retailers to ‘primary service nodes’ and impose buffers from schools

Effluence volumes at fish-packing plant near Campbell River surpass limits: report

Farmed salmon processing company says operations don’t harm marine habitat

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

Most Read