The Wenatchee Wild are moving on to the B.C. Hockey League’s final four.
AJ Vanderbeck scored 3:38 into overtime as the Wild stopped the Vernon Vipers 4-3 before 3,009 fans Saturday night at the Town Toyota Series. Wenatchee won the best-of-seven quarterfinal series 4-2.
Wenatchee will either start on the road against the Penticton Vees or host the Trail Smoke Eaters in Game 1 of the Interior Division final.
Derek Brown, Jimmy Lambert and Niko Karamanis converted first-period goals for the Vipers, while the Wild got one from Zak Galambos. Ufberg assisted on Brown’s fifth of the playoffs at 3:31, while Brown and Alex Svetlikoff earned assists on Lambert’s second of the post-season, at 12:59
Sam Morton and d-man Cooper Zech combined to set up blueliner Zak Galambos at 15:47. Karamanis netted his seventh playoff snipoe three minutes later, from Jesse Lansdell and D Jack Judson.
The second period was scoreless with Viper captain Jagger Williamson and Wild sniper Jasper Weatherby assessed roughing minors at the buzzer. Williamson, who held Weatherby pointless in Games 1 and 2 in Vernon returned to the lineup after a two-game suspension for taking his third goalie interference penalty in Game 3 in Wenatchee.
Weatherby scored 4:27 into the third period with captain AJ Vanderbeck and d-man Chad Sasaki drawing assists. Weatherby has eight playoff tallies.
Sam Hesler levelled the score at 12:33, from Zech and Murphy Stratton.
Wenatchee outshot Vernon 59-26 with Austin Park posting the win and Ty Taylor the loss. Vanderbeck, Weatherby and Taylor were the three stars. The Vipers went 0-for-1 on the powerplay, the Wild 1-for-4.
Meanwhile, Ethan de Jong supplied 2+1 and Evan DeBrouwer made 37 saves as the Prince George Spruce Kings forced a Game 7 with a 3-1 win over the Surrey Eagles Saturday night.
After a scoreless first period, Prince George scored three goals in just over two minutes, one from Ben Brar and a pair from de Jong, to take a 3-0 lead.
Surrey got one back before the end of the frame on a goal by Matthew Campese, but that was all the scoring there would be and the Spruce Kings hung on for the win. After going down 3-1 in the series, Prince George will play the seventh game at home tonight. The winner faces the Powell River Kings.
Marcus Mitchell pulled the hat trick and Massimo Rizzo added a pair of goals as Penticton dispatched the Smoke Eaters 6-1 to tie the series and force a seventh and deciding game tonight at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Mitchell got the Vees on the board with a first-period goal and followed that up with two more in the second to give the Vees a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes. Wyatt Sloboshan had the other Penticton goal and Adam Scheel made 18 saves.
Tyler Ghirardosi replied for the Smokies.