The Vees took a 3-2 overtime win against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks tonight in Penticton. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)

Every game counts for Salmon Arm Silverbacks in close Interior Division

While they have clinched a playoff birth, Vernon and Wenatchee are hot on the ‘Backs trail.

With the BCHL regular season winding down, the Penticton Vees and Salmon Arm Silverbacks took their Friday Feb. 7 battle right down to the wire. It took an overtime period forced by a late Silverbacks goal to decide the game.

Both teams put up a goal in the opening period; the Silverbacks’ Logan Shaw scored two minutes into game and the division-leading Vees evened the score on the power play later on.

The Vees got the best of the Silverbacks in the middle period, out-shooting them 13-8 and scoring to earn themselves the lead.

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Although the Vees kept up the offensive pressure in the third period, putting 11 shots on Ethan Langenegger in the Silverbacks’ net, only the ‘Backs notched the score sheet. The late-period equalizer from William Poirier to force the overtime period.

Danny Weight scored the game-winner just over a minute into the overtime period to wrap up a 3-2 win.

Following the weekend’s games the way the BCHL Interior Division playoff picture will look when the season ends remains anyone’s guess. The Silverbacks’ third place position in the division is tenuous as the Wenatchee Wild are only one point behind them in the standings and the Vernon Vipers sit two points back.

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Next weekend, the Silverbacks are scheduled for games against the West Kelowna Warriors and Merritt Centennials who are sixth and seventh in the Interior respectively. The weekend will be closed out with a Sunday Feb. 16 Shaw Centre showdown with the Wild that will be important in deciding the teams’ eventual playoff berths.

The Silverbacks’ regular season will end with another home game against the Centennials on Feb. 23.

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