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Vernon Vipers shut out by Salmon Arm in season opener

Matthew Tovell stopped all 36 shots he faced for the Silverbacks
Salmon Arm Silverbacks goaltender Matthew Tovell was stellar in a 3-0 win over the Vernon Vipers to kick off the 2022-23 BCHL season Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (Salmon Arm Silverbacks photo)

Matthew Tovell was perfect between the pipes as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks defeated the Vernon Vipers 3-0 on opening night of the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season.

Tovell, playing his first BCHL start, made 36 saves for the shutout and was named the game’s first star.

A choppy first period at the Shaw Centre saw the Vipers go on two powerplays but with no results. Midway through the period the Backs got a powerplay of their own and held possession in the Vipers end for the full two minutes. However, the Vipers bent but didn’t break and the period ended in a scoreless tie.

In the second, Vipers forward Julian Facchinelli has a glorious chance but was robbed by Tovell on a cross ice pass.

The Backs got on the board moments later as Isaac Lambert converted on a chance down low to give his team a 1-0 lead.

A few minutes later, as the Vipers were setting up on a powerplay, Silverbacks captain Nathan Mackie was sprung on a breakaway and snapped it five hole on goaltender Roan Clarke for a shorthanded tally to make it 2-0.

The Vipers more than doubled the Backs in shots but couldn’t get the bounce they needed.

In the third period, Seiya Tanaka-Campbell had the best chance but just missed up high as the Vipers remained down by a pair. The period was scoreless until the final minute when Ethan Ullrick hit the empty net to bring the game to its final score of 3-0.

The Vipers don’t have to wait long for a shot at redemption. The teams will face off at Kal Tire Place for the second half of a home-and-home at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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