Wenatchee Wild lose national title in OT - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

NAHL Hockey

Wenatchee Wild lose national title in OT

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MASON CITY, Iowa - St. Louis goalkeeper Keith Kinkaid came up with a pair of huge stops in overtime, and Clinton Bourbonais clanked in the game-winner on a shot from the left point to hold off the upstart Wenatchee Wild and give the Bandits a 3-2 win and their third straight national title.

The Wild had plenty of scoring chances in overtime, but couldn't get a third puck past Kinkaid, the NAHL's top goaltender and league MVP this season.

The Wild, who lost to the Bandits 6-0 when the two met in pool play Wednesday, twice came back from one-goal deficits to tie the game, with both Wenatchee goals coming on power plays.

Junior Cadiz scored with just 33 seconds left in the first period to get the Wild back to even at 1-1. Cadiz's shot from the left circle beat Kinkaid cleanly on the far side.

The Wild's second goal wasn't as clear-cut.

With Wenatchee again on the power play, several Wild players had a whack at the puck in the crease. Duncan McKellar got it past Kinkaid, who quickly reached back and covered the puck, but not before the red light went on to indicate a goal. None of the three on-ice officials had seen the puck cross the line, but after conferring with the goal judge, they counted the score, tying the game at 6:52 of the third period.

The goal came two seconds after the Bandits had killed off the first of two penalties that had given the Wild a two-man advantage.

The Bandits had taken a 2-1 lead with a power play goal of their own, Grant Gorsczyca's second goal of the game, at 3:37 of the second period.

After killing off a penalty in the final five minutes, the Bandits went on the power play for the final 1:02 of regulation when Mitch Torrel was sent to the box for interference.

Most of the game was a defensive struggle, with neither team being able to sustain offensive pressure for any length of time. At the end of regulation, the Wild had taken just 23 shots on goal, compared to 28 for the Bandits. St. Louis outshot Wenatchee 10-8 in OT.

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