Wild Sweep Monsters
FRESNO, Calif. - On Friday, the Wenatchee Wild used a 3-goalsecond period to defeat the Fresno Monsters. On Saturday, it was a 3-goal firstperiod that propelled the Wild to a 5-0 victory and a 2-game sweep over theMonsters at the Selland Arena in Fresno, Calif.
Trace Redmond (McKinney,Texas) staked the Wild to a 1-0 lead 3:24 into the contest when he knocked in arebound off Evan Schmidbauer's(Surrey, British Columbia) shot. BlakeButzow (Plymouth, Mich.) earned the secondary assist.
Chris Kerr(Penticton, British Columbia) doubled Wenatchee's lead to 2-0 a little morethan a minute after Redmond's opening goal when he banged in a pass from Noah Nelson (Oconomowoc, Wis.) in thelow slot. Derick Kuchera (Eagan, Minn.)began the scoring sequence to earn the second assist.
Kerr scored his second goal of the game roughly 10 minutesafter his first tally to increase Wenatchee's lead to 3-0. Entering theoffensive zone down the left wing on a 2-on-3, Nelson got around a defender andcentered a deft pass to Kerr, who tapped it in for his 13th marker of theseason. Max McHugh (Edgewood, Wash.)also assisted.
After a scoreless second period the Wild added two moregoals in the final 20 minutes of regulation to earn the 5-0 win. McHugh gavethe Wild a 4-0 lead 7:21 into the third period when he scored on a backhanderfrom the slot during a man-advantage. BrianWilliams (San Diego, Calif.) and JoeSullivan (Las Vegas, Nev.) earned the assists on crisp accurate passesduring the power play. Schmidbauer went on to close out scoring less than eightminutes into the final stanza when he notched an unassisted goal.
Goaltender NickSchmit (Fargo, N.D.) turned aside all 21 shots he faced Saturday to earnhis first shutout with the Wild. Schmit's 21-save shutout came 24 hours after Robert Nichols (Dallas, Texas) collectedhis sixth shutout of the season Friday with a 24-save effort that helped theWild earn a 3-0 win in the first game of the series.
The Wild scored two power-play goals on five chancesSaturday while the Monsters went 0-for-8 on the man-advantage.
"The last few games we have been generating some qualitychances," Littler said of his team's power play unit, "and it was nice to see acouple pucks go in the net [Saturday]. ... I thought we played well this weekend."
Kerr led the Wild with two goals Saturday while Schmidbauer(1G, 1A), McHugh (1G, 1A) and Nelson (2A) each recorded two points apiece.
Coming off a 2-game road sweep, the Wild (26-5-3) will playtheir next eight games at home beginning with a 2-game rematch against theMonsters this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 18-19). Both games are scheduled tobegin at 7:05 p.m.
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