Wenatchee, WA, USA: The Vernon Vipers used a 3-goal 2nd period to push themselves into the Fred Page Cup Finals, defeating the Wenatchee Wild in 5 games.
The Wild came out as expected in the first period moving their feet and getting pucks deep in the Vipers zone. That was a tell-tale sign of the game plan they wanted to bring. Defensively, the Wild just hammered pucks out of their own zone and it was pretty effective in the first 20 minutes. Wenatchee opened the scoring as Marko Reifenberger put home a rebound in front just over 3 minutes into the game. The Wild continued their pressure throughout most of the period and Aidan Porter was forced into making some big saves. The Vipers had a late push in the period, but were outshot 16-7 and trailed 1-0.
The Vipers came out flying in the second period getting some chances early on. The forecheck was responsible for the tying goal as Jesse Lansdell found Jack Judson at the left point and he snapped one through traffic to make it 1-1. The Wild would call a timeout 5 minutes into the period to try get momentum back on their side. It didn’t pay off as minutes later as a Vipers powerplay was expiring Josh Latta’s shot was kicked out by Park, then slammed home by Ben Sanderson to give the Vipers their first lead of the night. Things got chippy midway through the period after Jesse Lansdell got hit high while away from the puck. Frustrations built up and penalties were handed down. On a sequence that found the game 4 on 4, Jagger Williamson finished off a nice play late in the period to make it 3-1 after 2 periods.
In the third, the Vipers tightened up in their own zone, holding Wenatchee to just 6 shots. The Wild had a chance on a powerplay midway through the period, but as it has all round long, the Vipers PK killed it off. As the period wore on, the Vipers continued to defend and the Wild simply ran out of time.
The Vipers will now play the Prince George Spruce Kings in the Fred Page Cup Finals starting Friday night in PG.