Playoff recap – March 24

Chad Sasaki had a goal and an assist, including the game-winner in overtime, as the Wenatchee Wild beat the Cowichan Valley Capitals 4-3 to win Game 6 and advance to the Interior Division finals.

Cowichan had the advantage early as Preston Brodziak scored the lone first-period goal and David Melaragni notched his fifth of the playoffs in the second to give the Caps a 2-0 lead, but Marko Reifenberger responded for the Wild 1:32 later to cut the lead to one heading into the third. Nathan Iannone tied the game for Wenatchee early in the period and Lucas Sowder gave them the lead before Jordan Robert tied it for Cowichan in the last five minutes to send the game to overtime. Sasaki pinched into the offensive zone from his point, accepted a centring pass from PJ Fletcher and ripped a wrist shot past Caps goalie Pierce Diamond 5:42 into the extra frame to clinch the series for the Wild and keep their dream of repeating as league champions alive.

Melaragni finished with two points and was named the game’s first star, while Diamond made 30 stops in a losing effort. Sowder’s goal was his ninth of the postseason which ties him for the most in the BCHL playoffs, while his 20 points are also tops overall. The Wild captain has points in 11 straight games and has only been held off the scoresheet once in 13 playoff contests.

As the top-remaining seed in the division, Wenatchee will host either the Vernon Vipers or Trail Smoke Eaters who play Game 7 of their second-round series tomorrow night.