The Chilliwack Chiefs blew the doors off one of the BCHL’s premier teams Wednesday night, bombing the Wenatchee Wild 7-3 at Prospera Centre.
Jordan Kawaguchi and Jake Smith had two goals apiece for the Chiefs, who looked every bit as good as the Mainland division leading Wild. Chilliwack improved to 15-5-3-0 and moved to within two points of Wenatchee, handing the visitors just their third loss of the season (17-3-1-0).
Tommy Lee had his crew up by one 31 seconds in, with a helping hand from Captain K. From behind the Wenatchee net, Kawaguchi fed a pass in front to Lee who pulled it to his backhand and slipped the puck past Wild keeper Anthony Yamnitsky.
Wenatchee blueliner Anthony Chavez answered back at 4:51 with a wrister from the left point that snuck through a maze of players in the Chilliwack goal-mouth, and a Charlie Combs power play snipe at 7:11 gave the Wild their only lead in this game.
The next three goals came from Chiefs, starting with a Smith snipe at 17:54.
Connor McCarthy boomed a slap shot off the end boards and back into the goal-mouth. Aaron O’Neill had a whack at it before Smith punched it across the line for his ninth of the year.
Kawaguchi had Chilliwack up 3-2 just 76 seconds into period two, crashing the crease to poke his team-leading 16th past Yamnitsky.
The rattled goalie made a big mistake on the next shift. Josh Borynec sent a long wrister on net, which was easily handled by Yamnitsky. But when he dropped it into the blue paint and tried to cover it with his glove, he didn’t.
Derek Osik couldn’t believe his luck, nudging the disc across the line.
Sam Morton scored for Wenatchee just 12 seconds later but the Chiefs led 4-3 into period three.
Chilliwack’s Linden Hora and much larger Wild D-man Logan Millikan dropped the mitts early in the final frame, and Hora held his own. The scrappy forward known more for his mouth than his fists threw right handed bombs before Millikan threw him to the ice.
Seconds later Chilliwack’s Lee and Wenatchee’s Chavez squared off.
As their fighting majors and game misconducts were being announced the Chiefs got their fifth goal off the stick of Kawaguchi. It was another McCarthy shot, this one a wrister from the right point, that created the chance with Nieto losing sight of the puck.
Gooch found it first and punched it in for much-needed insurance.
Chilliwack piled on from there.
Smith scored his second of the game at 11:41, taking a cross-ice pass from Cole Poliziani and roofing it over Nieto’s blocker.
Thirty seven seconds later, Borynec caught Nieto cheating off his left goal-post and squeaked the puck through the sliver of space to wrap up the scoring.
Final shots on goal favoured Chilliwack 30-25.
The three stars were Smith (first), Kawaguchi (second) and McCarthy (third).
The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Hora.
Announced attendance was 1,187.