Chilliwack, BC – All good things must come to an end.
The Chilliwack Chiefs saw their 10 game winning streak snapped Saturday night as they fell 3-2 to the Wenatchee Wild at Prospera Centre.
Kyle Stephan scored the winning goal for the visitors late in the game, handing the home team its first loss since Oct. 18.
The Chiefs fell to 16-6-1-2 while the Wild improved to 15-6-2-2, closing to within one point of first-place Chilliwack atop the competitive Mainland division standings.
Wenatchee’s Brendan Harris opened the scoring 9:53 into period one.
The Las Vegas native flew down the left wing and cut across the goal-mouth. Before Chiefs D-man Austin Adam could knock him on his can, Harris slipped the puck past sprawling stopper Aidan Pelino for his sixth of the year.
Redemption came less than three minutes later for Adam, who earned the assist on Darien Craighead’s equalizer. Craighead got his stick on an Adam wrister from above the right faceoff circle, deflecting the puck past Wenatchee goalie Garrett Nieto for his ninth of the season.
The teams traded goals again in a fast-paced second period.
The Wild retook the lead at 4:33 when blueliner Matthew Baker took a feed from the awesomely named August Von Ungern and wired a top-shelf shot from the slot.
But the Chiefs came back at 10:24 when Jeremy Germain tracked down a dump-in behind the Wenatchee net and threw a centering pass into the slot for Jake Smith. Smith settled it down and snapped it past Nieto for his third of the year.
Shots on goal through 40 minutes, knotted at 18-18, reflected how evenly these two teams are matched.
The see-saw tiled Wenatchee’s way one last time late in period three.
With both teams reluctant to take chances, Wild forward Kyle Stephan got one of the only quality scoring chances. The Ontario native got the game-winner on a lazer from the high slot, pinging the puck off the cross-bar and in with less than five minutes to play.
The Chiefs pulled Pelino for the extra attacker with 44 seconds to go but the Wild kept the puck along the boards, killing the clock.
The three stars were Germain (first), Harris (second) and Stephan (third).
The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Linden Hora.
Attendance was 2,932.