For the first time in 2019 the Cents lost a game in regulation falling to the Wenatchee Wild 3-2.
The Cents started the game off right by scoring just 5 minutes in. Nick Granowicz took a Mattias Dal Monte feed up the far-side wall and banked it around the Wenatchee defenseman to himself before finding a streaking Mathieu Gosselin going to the net. That would be the only offense of the first period as the neither the Cents nor the Wild could convert on powerplay opportunities. The Cents out shot the Wild 10-9 in the first period with Austin Roden starting.
In the second, the Wild began to turn the tide and it started early. Just 53 seconds in Wenatchee would tally on a deflection from A.J. Hodges to tie the game at 1's. The Wild would confound the Cents with their active sticks through neutral ice, constantly turning promising rushes back at centre or the blue line. Matt Gosiewski would add another for the Wild off a broken play to give Wenatchee a 2-1 lead. After 2, shots were 22-17 in favour of the Wild.
The third saw the Wild quickly gain the two-goal lead when Gosiewski got a feed across the Cents blue line and sniped one upstairs on Roden. The Cents would try to push for more, but would continue to be stifled by the neutral zone positioning of the Wild. Nick Granowicz would figure in on the offense again, this time he found a shot from Nick Wicks that didn't get through the crowd, and fired it five hole to get the Cents within one. Merritt pushed for the equalizer, but the Wild hung on for the win. Roden stopped 30/33 shots in the loss while Austin Park stopped 22/24 in the win.
The loss is the first time the Cents have failed to pick up points in 12 tries.
After the game, Head Coach Joe Martin said the Cents couldn't use their usual tactics.
"Credit to the Wild, they took away what usually works for us. We had to find a different way to operate, and some of our players did - others didn't. When you're facing a challenge like that you really need all 12 forwards figuring it out."
The Cents will try and figure their way back into the win column against a potential playoff opponent, the Trail Smoke Eaters on Saturday night.
ENERGY PLAYER OF THE GAME: Mike Van Unen 0G 0A 2PIM
3RD STAR: Nick Wicks 0G 1A
2ND STAR: Jacob Modry 0G 2A
1ST STAR: Matt Gosiewski 2G 0A