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The Wenatchee Wild is a Junior A ice hockey team in the British Columbia Hockey League. The team plays its home games at the 4,300-seat Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Washington. Initially, the team was part of the North American Hockey League, joining as an expansion club for the 2008–09 season, and in that time they were well known for their rivalry with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The Wild moved to the BCHL for 2015–16, after seeking approval from both Hockey Canada and USA Hockey for three years.

Wenatchee Wild
Wenatchee Wild Logo.svg
CityWenatchee, Washington
LeagueBritish Columbia Hockey League
DivisionInterior
Founded2010 (Current BCHL franchise)
2008 (First NAHL franchise)
Home arenaTown Toyota Center
ColorsBlue, black and white
              
Owner(s)David White
General managerBliss Littler
Head coachBliss Littler
MediaNewsRadio 560 KPQ
Franchise history
First NAHL franchise
2008–2013Wenatchee Wild
2013–2015Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
2015–2017Aston Rebels
2017–2018Philadelphia Rebels
2018–presentJamestown Rebels
Current BCHL franchise
2010–2013Fresno Monsters
2013–presentWenatchee Wild
Championships
Division Championships4 (2008–09, 2009–10, 2012–13, 2016–17)
Playoff championships1 (2018)

HistoryEdit

NAHL years (2008–2015)Edit

On September 12, 2006, ground was broken on a new multipurpose event center that would be home to a new ice hockey team. On February 22, 2008, the North American Hockey League granted Wenatchee Junior Hockey, LLC. with conditional approval for an expansion team. On May 20, 2008, Wenatchee Junior Hockey, LLC. announced the franchise would be the "Wild." The name was chosen by a "name-the-team contest" held at local schools in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. Other potential names for the team were the Wranglers, Bombers, Wonders, Hockeyes, Winning Walruses and Ice Busters. The Wild played their first game on September 17, 2008, losing to the Motor City Metal Jackets 2-1 in overtime. The Wild made a championship run in that first season, winning the division title but losing the championship game 3-2 in overtime. The following season, they came back and won the West Division championship in 2009–10, but were eliminated in the round-robin championship tournament.

On May 13, 2013, the Wild lost their first and only game during the 2013 Robertson Cup Championship Tournament to the Amarillo Bulls 5-0 during the Robertson Cup championship game. On January 19, 2013, USA Hockey approved the transfer of the Wenatchee Wild from the NAHL to the British Columbia Hockey League for the 2013–14 season.[1] However, on May 14, 2013, the Wild announced they would instead relocate the franchise to Hidalgo, Texas and play as the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees of the NAHL.[2]

On May 22, 2013, the Wenatchee City Council approves a deal to move the Fresno Monsters to Wenatchee and keep their name and logo. The team announced that it had retained coach Bliss Littler from the previous franchise on June 4, 2013.[3]

British Columbia Hockey League (2015–present)Edit

On June 1, 2015, the Wenatchee Wild announced that they would be joining the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) for the 2015–16 season.[4] After their third season in the BCHL, the Wild won the Fred Page Cup as the playoff champions, and the first American team to win the cup since 1979.[5]

Season recordsEdit

Season GP W L OTL T PTS GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
North American Hockey League
2008–09 58 35 19 4 74 197 182 1,322 1st, West Lost in Robertson Cup Final
2009–10 58 45 10 3 93 219 125 1,520 1st, West Lost in Round Robin
2010–11 58 34 21 3 71 207 148 1,208 2nd, West Lost in 2nd Round
2011–12 60 36 17 7 79 165 102 1,297 2nd, West Lost in 2nd Round
2012–13 60 39 15 6 84 197 147 1,509 1st, West Lost in Robertson Cup Final
2013–14 60 29 23 8 66 169 163 867 3rd, Mid-West Lost in Division Final
2014–15 60 27 25 8 62 177 171 808 5th of 8, South Won Div. play-in series, 2–0 vs. Corpus Christi IceRays
Lost First Round series, 0–3 vs. Lone Star Brahmas
British Columbia Hockey League
2015–16 58 34 16 4 4 76 206 147 588 2nd of 6, Mainland
5th of 17, BCHL
Won Div. Semifinals, 4–1 vs. Langley Rivermen
Lost Div. Finals, 1–4 vs. Chilliwack Chiefs
2016–17 58 45 9 4 0 94 294 135 714 1st of 6, Mainland
1st of 17, BCHL
Won Div. Semifinals, 4–2 vs. Prince George Spruce Kings
Lost Div. Finals, 0–4 vs. Chilliwack Chiefs
2017–18 58 37 16 4 1 79 241 158 714 3rd of 7, Interior
3rd of 17, BCHL
Won Div. Quarterfinals, 4–0 vs. Merritt Centennials
Won Div. Semifinals, 4–2 vs. Vernon Vipers
Won Div. Finals, 4–1 vs. Trail Smoke Eaters
Won League Finals, 4–1 vs. Prince George Spruce Kings
Won Doyle Cup, 4–1 vs. Spruce Grove Saints
2018–19 58 32 20 6 70 202 170 549 3rd of 7, Interior
7th of 17, BCHL
Won First Round, 4–3 vs. West Kelowna Warriors
Won Second Round, 4–2 vs. Cowichan Valley Capitals
Lost Semifinals, 1–4 vs. Vernon Vipers

Robertson CupEdit

The Wenatchee Wild hosted the 2010 NAHL Pepsi Robertson Cup.

National Junior A ChampionshipEdit

The National Junior A Championship, formerly known as the Royal Bank Cup from 1996 to 2018, is the annual championship tournament for Hockey Canada's junior A hockey leagues. Depending on the year, various regional champions, qualifiers, and hosts participate in the championship tournament. The tournament usually consists of opening in a round-robin with the top four teams then advancing to a semifinal were the winners compete a championship game.

Year Round-robin Record
W–OTW–OTL–L
Standing Semifinal Championship game
2018 OTW, Chilliwack Chiefs (Host) 2–1
W, Steinbach Pistons (Western) 4–3
OTW, Ottawa Jr. Senators (Eastern) 3–2
W, Wellington Dukes (Central) 7–1
2–2–0–0 1st of 5 L, Wellington Dukes 1–2

Head coachesEdit

On November 24, 2010, the Wenatchee Wild fired Paul Baxter, their inaugural head coach. It is unspecified exactly what led to the firing of Baxter, who led the Wenatchee Wild to back-to-back West Division titles in 2008 and 2009 and made it to the Robertson Cup Finals in the Wild's first year. Baxter was replaced in December 2010 by John Becanic. On April 27, 2012, shortly after elimination from the 2012 West Division Playoffs, Coach Becanic resigned. USHL coach Bliss Littler was announced as the new head coach and director of hockey operations on May 23, 2012. Mr. Littler currently holds the record as the winningest coach in USA Hockey history (Jr. Tier I and II). Littler had been released from his duties as the USHL's Omaha Lancers head coach mid season 2011–12.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "USA Hockey Approves Wenatchee Wild to BCHL". JuniorHockey.com.
  2. ^ "Wenatchee Wild to relocate NAHL membership to Hidalgo, Texas". Junior Hockey News. May 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "Press Conference Scheduled for Wednesday". Wenatchee Wild. June 4, 2013.
  4. ^ "Wenatchee Wild Join the BCHL for the 2015-16 Season". www.bchl.ca. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
  5. ^ "Wenatchee Wild win BCHL Fred Page Cup". Global News. April 20, 2018.

External linksEdit