The Salmon Arm Silverbacks started the weekend off with a showdown for first place in the Interior Division against the Penticton Vees on Friday, Nov. 15.
The puck dropped at Penticton’s South Okanagan Events Centre and the Silverbacks scored. William Poirier stole the puck from a defender and dished it to Coalson Wolford who fired a shot past Yaniv Perets and into the Penticton net.
Back-and-forth play ensued with neither team able to score until the 15th minute as Penticton’s Danny Weight slipped one by Dylan Kruss in the Silverbacks’ net. Just over a minute later, the Vees scored again, a backhander off the stick of David Silye.
The Vees headed into the second period with a 2-1 lead and added to it 7:17 on a power play. The ‘Backs got to work on a power play just a few minutes after the Vees goal. Jayden Price finished off a play set up by Noah Wakeford and Antonio Andreozzi to make the score 3-2 just after the game’s halfway point.
The action continued as Jay O’Brien returned the Vees to a comfortable two-point lead at 12:29.
A power-play effort payed off for the Silverbacks once more as Poirier scored in the period’s final minutes, assisted by Nick Unruh and Akito Hirose.
The game moved on to third period with the teams within a goal of each other. Twelve minutes into the period, Steve Holtz made the score 5-3 Penticton. With the final minutes ticking off, the Silverbacks pulled their netminder to send out a second skater. Lukas Sillinger of the Vees scored on the empty net, rounding out a 6-3 loss for Salmon Arm.
With their record sitting at 18-6-1 following the loss, the ‘Backs headed for home ice to host the Wenatchee Wild on Nov. 17.
The visiting Wild scored the game’s first goal. Logan Shaw evened things up for Salmon Arm a few minutes later.
The period ended with the game tied at one-all.
Matt Dorsey of the Wild went to the box for roughing at 3:22. Daniel Rybarik made the most of the power-play, scoring his 16th goal of the season at 4:49.
It looked as though the Silverbacks would take their lead into the third period but Harrison Scott scored with just over a minute to play, leaving the game tied as the buzzer sounded.
The officials were busy in the third, but the scorekeeper was not. The Silverbacks’ Hunter Sansbury was sent off with a game misconduct after a neutral zone collision with Nicholas Chmelevski. Zach Gabruch served Sansbury’s five-minute major for the blow to Chmelevski’s head.
Before the penalty expired, Jayden Price and Wenatchee’s Tyler Young dropped the gloves. Both men were sent off on game misconducts for the fight, but Poirier had to serve two minutes as Price was the instigator. This created a five-on-three situation, but the outnumbered Silverbacks held on even as Wolford was sent to the box for holding before the second penalty could expire. The home team was charged three more minor penalties but killed them all.
Langenegger faced 21 shots in the third period but held firm to keep the period scoreless. The Wild had eight power-play opportunities over the course of the game but the ‘Backs penalty kill was working overtime keeping the net safe.
The period ended and the game went into overtime. Nick Unruh put an end to the game with a goal assisted by Hirose at 2:10. Final score: 3-2 Silverbacks.
The Wild and the Silverbacks will get another crack at each other with a Nov. 21 game, also scheduled for the Shaw Centre.
-With files from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.