Aaron O'Neill (in the camo jersey) and his Chilliwack Chiefs fell behind 4-0 against Wenatchee in a game they eventually lost 4-3.

Aaron O'Neill (in the camo jersey) and his Chilliwack Chiefs fell behind 4-0 against Wenatchee in a game they eventually lost 4-3.

Kawaguchi explodes as Chiefs beat Merritt

Chilliwack Chiefs captain Jordan Kawaguchi had three goals and an assist in a 4-3 win over the Centennials.

Jordan Kawaguchi’s four-point night carried Chilliwack past the Merritt Centennials Sunday night, snapping a three-game losing skid for the Chiefs.Captain K had three goals and an assist in a 4-3 win at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.Zachary Bleuler had the hometown Cents up 1-0 after one period and Chase Bell scored for Merritt in the second period.Gooch’s first had the Chiefs within one heading to period three and he scored again at 1:31 and 3:33 to give Chilliwack the lead.Merritt’s Stephan Seeger got the Cents even with an unassisted score at 12:38, but Kawaguchi and Aaron O’Neill set up Kohen Olischefski for the game winner at 17:58.The Chiefs out-shot Merritt 41-21.With a little more finish this could have been a laugher, and head coach Jason Tatarnic was in a good mood Monday morn.“Seven points in nine days, gotta be happy!” he said, adding a big clap of his hands for emphasis.Indeed, Tatarnic’s crew has just made it through a busy stretch of games that started with a 7-2 win over Vernon Oct. 15.That was followed by a 4-1 win over Port Alberni Oct. 16.They fell 3-2 in double overtime in Vernon Oct. 19, lost 4-1 in Prince George Oct. 20 and 4-3 at home to Wenatchee Saturday night.All due respect to Merritt, but Saturday night’s showdown with the Wild was the weekend’s marquee matchup, and it was a tale of two games.For the first 30 minutes Wenatchee looked to be on a different level than the Chiefs, going three-for-three on the power play and building a 4-0 lead.For the last 30 minutes Chilliwack came at the Wild in waves. Goals by Will Calverley, Aaron O’Neill and Anthony Vincent had them within one eight minutes to play.“It was their third game in three nights and our third in four nights, and our team had travel in between,” Tatarnic noted. “It was a slow start for us and you may have seen fatigue settling in for them in the last 30 minutes.”“Both teams have more to give and it should be interesting the next time we meet.”If there was a TSN turning point it came after the fourth Wenatchee goal when Tatarnic lifted starting goalie Mark Sinclair and, moments later, called a timeout.From that point on backup Brendan Barry didn’t surrender a goal and the offence caught fire.“I guess I was just honest about what I was seeing,” Tatarnic said when asked what he said during the timeout. “I didn’t like our work ethic. It was a combination of our brains and legs not going and I told them it wasn’t good enough.”Chilliwack had an absurd amount of scoring chances as time ticked down but they couldn’t complete the comeback.And that had Tatarnic talking about missed opportunities.“I go back to the overtime loss to Vernon and in the games since then we’ve had a ton of  scoring chances,” he said. “Tons.”“Like tons.”“We had 10 chances to tie that game against Wenatchee and tons of chances to blow that Merritt game wide open.”“At some point we’ve got to start making good on those opportunities.”Tatarnic’s Chiefs move into a light stretch now where they just play once (Friday night at home vs Victoria) in 11 days.The Chiefs are dealing with a spate of injuries. Kale Kane, Carver Watson and Cole Poliziani are all banged up.Chilliwack will have newcomer Josh Borynec back in the lineup for the next one. The 18 year old forward has just served a two-game suspension for a hit from behind during the Prince George game.— Kawaguchi’s out-burst has him four points off the BCHL scoring lead and two snipes off the goal-scoring lead.

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