The Cents (7-15-1-0) and Wild (13-10-3-1) meet for the final time in the regular season tonight.
The Cents are coming off a solid wire to wire win against the Spruce Kings where they got contributions from up and down the lineup along with solid goaltending from Tanner Marshall. Payton Matsui got the tribute to Jesse Pakulat started by scoring a shorthanded goal, stripping Jett Alexander of the puck behind the net, and beating him with a wraparound to make it 1-0. Hunor Torzsok had his 2nd goal as a Cent after tipping in a Talon Zakall try after he joined the rush. After one period it was 2-0 courtesy some solid saves from Marshall. In the second, the Cents added more offense from Josh Kagan with his team leading 17th goal of the season, and Matt Osadick finally got a monkey off his back by beating the goalie down low to make it 4-0. That would be the end of Jett Alexander's night as Cent for a weekend Carter Woodside came in to relieve him. He would rally the Spruce Kings and in the third period they'd score a couple late goals to spoil the shutout bid and add some intrigue, but ultimately the Cents would hang on for the win 4-2.
The Wild are 2-3 in their last five, but come into the contest on the heels of two straight wins. Last night they were 5-1 winners over the West Kelowna Warriors and like they've been doing all season they continue to score by committee with 5 different goal scorers. Earlier in the week they won 3-1 against the Silverbacks, but before that win they hadn't tasted victory since they topped the Cents to open November.
This will be the season series finale tonight with the Cents trailing the season series 1-4. The Wild won the season opener 3-1, and they won the next game in the Wolves den 5-2. The Cents got their lone victory against them this season so far with a gutsy 2-1 overtime win on home ice in late September. As mentioned, Wenatchee was able to take both games of the double header down south 5-2 and 6-4, but the Cents were able to battle back in both games to tie it before sliding down the home stretch.
Josh Kagan is tied for second in the league in goals scored with 17 and his 25 points is just outside the league's top 20. Payton Matsui added another tally last night and has 17 points, Daniel Tkac is just behind with 16 points.
The Wild are led by Nick Cafarelli up front with 27 points. Tyler Young has 25 points, and Captain Brian Adams has 21 points.
The special teams battle sees the Cents looking to get rolling on the powerplay, but the penalty kill is rolling in November.
Powerplay: Penalty Kill:
Cents -6.3% (17th) Cents - 73.5% (15th)
Wild - 23.1% (5th) Wild - 78% (12th)
The battle in the blue paint sees Tanner Marshall looking to continue the momentum from last night. He's now 4-7 with a .885 SV% and a 4.30 GAA. Ryan Winter is waiting in the wings with a 2-8-1 record with a .910 SV% and a 3.75 GAA and 1 shutout.
Daniel Chenard has been the go to guy for the Wild, but the Cents have had trouble with both goalies. Chenard is 8-4-3 with a .908 SV%, a 2.48 GAA and 1 shutout. Noah Altman is 5-6 with an .873 SV% and a 3.57 GAA.
Head Coach Derek Sweet Coulter says the Cents need to stay the course with the play of late.
"We are building in the right direction. We need to play like we did last night, play hard, play for each other, and protect the middle. We do that and I like our chances."
The Cents will look to stay on course for their first 3 game win streak of the season.
Puck drop 7pm. Pre-Game 6:45 with Jared Thomas and Michael Reeve on Q101 and HockeyTV.
Tonight is A&W night and it's another chance to win $10,000 in the first 25 seconds of the third period. Buy a program for your entry to win!