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Wild win midget crown in Canada

January 9, 2012

The Wenatchee Wild of the North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL) proved they could score in bunches, and they rode that to the championship of the Kelowna International Major Midget title.

In Saturday's semi-final, the Wild struck for a pair of goals in the first three minutes and, during round robin play , they scored three times in the final 69 second to beat the host Kelowna Fripp Warehouse Jr. Rockets 6-4.

It was that comeback victory which allowed the Wild to qualify for the playoff round and ultimately the final.

Chris Jones, JT Paine and Jeremiah Luedtke all scored in the first 2:10 seconds on the first three shots they fired at Calgary netminder Jake Tamagi.

"I think it was just something that happens," says winning coach Rod Collins.

"You try to get off to those starts obviously but as it turned out it was to our benefit and we never looked back from that."

Wenatchee had a chance to bury Calgary before the end of the first period when they received four straight power-play chances but appeared more interested in defending than going forward for the kill.

"We had to try and keep them pumped up a little bit to keep going because we knew it wasn't going to be enough. But, we play a puck control game sometimes and we don't give up many chances, that's our style"

As it turned out, those three goals were more than enough.

Twice, Calgary cut the deficit to two  but, both times Wenatchee quickly responded a restored the three goal lead.

Tournament MVP Cam Amantea and Mitch Ferguson scored for Calgary.

Ferguson's goal late in the second cut the deficit to 4-2 late in the second and provided them with some jump early in the third, however, against the run of the play Bryce Nielson finished off a pretty three way passing play to all but put the game away.

Luedtke led the way for Wenatchee scoring twice, including an empty net goal and added as assist.

Jacob McMullen also scored for Wenatchee.

The championship was the first for the Wild in their first appearance in the tournament.

It also capped off a busy stretch of 13 games in 12 days for the Wild who came to Kelowna following a tournament the previous week in Dallas.

It's also the first win for an American team since the LA Selects won the tournament in 2005.

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