Making his first start in place of injured stopper Aidan Pelino, Matteo Esposito led his Chilliwack Chiefs to a 4-1 BCHL win.
Esposito and crew hosted the Wenatchee Wild Wednesday night, giving local fans their first look at an American expansion team that had a record of 8-3-1-1 coming in.
The visitors struck first in this one, getting a power play goal from Blake Christensen at 18:30 of the opening frame.
But Chilliwack stormed back with three second period goals.
Big D-man Connor McCarthy scored for the second straight game, getting the home team on the board at 2:02.
Vimal Sukumaran scored a pair, at 13:13 and 16:40, to put the Wild on their heels. Jordan Kawaguchi had helpers on both Sukumaran snipes, and Sukumaran moved into a tie for the BCHL goal-scoring lead with Penticton Vee Scott Conway (both have 13).
Thirteen games into his junior A career, feisty forward Kale Kane finally picked up his first goal.
The Quebec native scored shorthanded at 2:18 of period three to wrap up the scoring.
Esposito ended up stopping 26 of 27 shots to earn his second win in six appearances.
Chase Perry took the loss in the Wenatchee cage, stopping 23 of 27 shots.
Chilliwack improved to 7-5-1-2 heading into a busy weekend.
The Chiefs and Surrey Eagles square off for the third time this season, Friday night in Surrey.
The Eagles occupy the basement in the Mainland division with a 4-9-0-0 record, and Chilliwack’s beaten them handily both times they’ve met this year.
The Chiefs blanked them 6-0 Sep. 30 at home and thumped them 6-1 Oct. 9 on the road.
Chilliwack welcomes the Alberni Valley Bulldogs to Prospera Centre for a Sunday night game.
The teams met just last weekend, with the Chiefs taking a 4-2 decision.
The Bulldogs are 4-7-0-1, fourth in the five team Island division.
— With Pelino out for a couple weeks, the Chiefs called up an Abbotsford native to serve as their backup goalie Wednesday night.
Eighteen year old Gunnar Neilson was on the bench. He got into one game with the Vernon Vipers last year.