Silverbacks defenceman Andy Stevens moves the puck up the ice during the Feb. 22 game against Penticton, keeping an eye up for a good pass. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Silverbacks finish regular season with loss to Penticton

First round of playoffs pits ‘Backs against Vernon Vipers once again

A promising 2-1 lead going into the third period wasn’t enough to carry the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to victory in their Feb. 22 final home game against the Penticton Vees.

The first period was a mad scramble for possession and good scoring chances, though it was a quiet 20 minutes on the scoreboard.

The Silverbacks edged out the beginnings of a lead early in the first during the power play, with Nick Unruh capitalizing on a good angle to slip the puck past Vees’ goalie Jack LaFontaine.

Read More: Silverbacks win one in three-game stretch versus Wenatchee

Massimo Rizzo of the Vees came in to tie things up late in the period, though shortly after a penatly put Penticton on the back-foot and Unruh skated in to bag his second power-play goal of the night.

Heading into the third at 2-1, the first six minutes were a turning point for Penticton, scoring twice on the power play. Later in the period, a turnaround gave Jack Barnes the room to fire one past Langenegger and increase Penticton’s lead to 4-2.

Salmon Arm pulled their goalie in a last-ditch attempt to turn the game around, but an empty-net goal by Penticton was the final nail in the coffin.

The Silverbacks’s final game of the regular season was a rematch against Penticton that was effectively over in the first period.

Related: Silverbacks break even in double-header against Trail Smoke Eaters

The Vees came out hard and heavy in the opening minutes of the game, scoring a pair of goals within eight seconds of each other. The pressure of a 2-0 deficit was increased further as Penticton scored again just before the halfway mark in the first. Andre Ghantous, Ty Pochipinski and Ryan Sandelin claimed this trio of first-period points.

In the second, Penticton expanded their lead further to 4-0, after a lone goal from David Silye. After this goal, neither side found the net with any of their scoring attempts for the remaining 33 minutes of ice time, culminating in a 4-0 shutout victory for the Vees.

With the regular season wrapped up, Salmon Arm’s league standings pit them against the Vernon Vipers in the BCHL playoffs for the second year in a row. The Silverbacks held a 5-1 record over Vernon in the regular season, and both teams have a matching seven players on the bench who faced off in the playoffs last season.

The season stats show a fairly even match in terms of scoring between the teams, with 17 for Salmon Arm and 15 for Vernon. The Silverbacks show an edge in five-on-five play, the Vipers had a bit more success on the powerplay against Salmon Arm. In overtime, it was Salmon Arm skaters coming up clutch with two OT wins to Vernon’s zero.

Read More: Silverbacks’ captain, coach talk about the pre-playoff push

In the final stretch of the season, the Silverbacks had a seven-game stretch against the two of the top teams in the league, Penticton and Wenatchee, winning only a single game, in contrast to Vernon who won eight of their last 10 games, pushing them up from their slump in league rankings.

With files from Ryan Lepper


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Thunderstorm possible for South Okanagan

The rest of the region will enjoy a sunny day.

Photos: Over 80 competitors took part in 3D Archery Shoot

The event is hosted by the Salmon Arm Fish and Game Club

Girl, 9, out of ICU after carbon monoxide poisoning in Shuswap tent

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Severe thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada forecasts thunder, cloud and rain for one more day

Osprey nest in downtown Salmon Arm will remain until new year

The powerlines around the nest have been de-energized so the birds can stay until spring

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Okanagan group offers suggestions on overdose prevention site

Downtown Vernon Association agrees proposed facility should be near Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Brothers acquired land at entrance to Garnet Valley

Name of Summerland valley and lake does not match spelling of family name.

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Most Read