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

Nelson Reflections win at synchro provincials

Nelson’s synchronized swimming team triumphed at the Jean Peters Provincial Championship

Here we go again: Mamma Mia! set to open at the Capitol Theatre

The ABBA-inspired musical runs Thursday to Sunday

LETTERS: The other side of the Women’s Centre story

From readers Vita Luthmers and Hannah Hadikin

Nelson holds the line on property taxes

No increase this year thanks to deal with RDCK on park funding

West Kootenay opinion sought on health care issues

Rural Evidence Review getting strong response to survey call-out

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Most Read