The Salmon Arm Silverbacks edged out a win in a back-and-forth game against the Vernon Vipers.
At the Friday, Sept. 22 regular season opener for both teams on Salmon Arm ice, the Silverbacks came out with a 3-2 win over Vernon.
Following a barbecue put on by the Salmon Arm Fire Department, the teams hit the ice where the Silverbacks put on the pressure early. Although the first period saw a few penalties and chances on goal, the game remained scoreless.
The second period was a flurry of action at both ends with the first goal of the game netted by Salmon Arm’s Isaac Lambert, assisted by Ryan Gillespie who escaped a two-on-one chase down the ice. Following the first goal, Salmon Arm players Chris Kobelka and Lambert found themselves in the penalty box for hooking and slashing respectively, giving Vernon a five-on-three advantage. A power play goal here by Adam Csabi tied the game.
A quick goal by Vernon’s Julian Facchinelli ended the second period with a 2-1 lead for the Vipers.
In the third, Salmon Arm was looking to make a comeback and delivered 5:20 into the period when Gillespie got the puck right on the goal line and a Vipers defenceman knocked the puck in. This counted for Gillespie’s first goal of the season and tied the game.
Less then a minute later, Kobelka was able to send a shot to be deflected in by Reid Varkoyni and take the 3-2 lead.
In the final minutes, Silverback Lian Gayfer was sent to the box for high-sticking and Vernon upped their advantage by pulling their goalie to attack six-on-four, with no goal in the end.
As the clock hit zero, Vernon pointed out a missed icing call and refs called all players back to the ice for five seconds, which Vernon played six-on-five, but after a quick face off, the 3-2 win was final.
Vernon out shot Salmon Arm 29-22.
The Silverbacks play the Prince George Spruce Kings at home Saturday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. Vernon’s next game is also tonight (Sept. 23) at 6 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.