The Salmon Arm Silverbacks secured a pair of wins in a weekend home-and-home series against the Vernon Vipers.
The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) rivals played on Jan. 1 in Vernon, with the Silverbacks earning a 3-0 shutout. Back in Salmon Arm on Jan. 2, the home team was victorious, 4-1.
In the New Year’s Day contest, Silverbacks captain Daniel Panetta scored a natural hat-trick — three consecutive goals. Panetta’s first goal came early in the first period, with his second just 26 seconds after the first. Later in the period, Vernon had an onslaught of powerplay scoring chances but Silverbacks goalie Owen Say stopped them all.
In the second period, the Vipers were assessed a five-minute major penalty. However, the Vipers’ penalty kill was strong and Salmon Arm didn’t generate a scoring chance on the man-advantage. Later in the frame, Say had to be strong for the Silverbacks on the penalty kill as Vernon peppered him with shots.
About three minutes into the third period, Panetta scored his third goal of the game, completing his hat-trick. The Vipers could not get past Say for the rest of the game and the netminder recorded a shutout.
On Jan. 2, Silverbacks forward Zakery Anderson scored his first BCHL goal en route to his team’s 4-1 victory.
In the first period, Nathan Mackie and Daniel Panetta scored for the ‘Backs. Panetta’s goal meant he’d scored in three straight games.
In the second period, Silverbacks defenceman Mike Ladyman passed it to Anderson who finished the job and made it 3-0 for the home team. Penalties were plentiful this period, with Vernon being penalized six times to Salmon Arm’s three. During a 5-on-3 powerplay, the Silverbacks’ Noah Serdachny scored on a one-timer to make it 4-0.
Five minutes into the third, Vipers forward Luke Pakulak beat Say, ending his chance at a second-straight shutout. However, that was the final goal of the game and the Silverbacks tallied the win.
As of Jan. 4, the Silverbacks were on a six-game winning streak. They were also first in the league, improving to 22 wins on the season.