The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have started the 2019-20 season off strong with a win in West Kelowna and a close loss on home ice.
The Silverbacks defeated the West Kelowna Warriors 2-1 on Friday, Aug. 23 in their first exhibition game of the 2019-20 season, thanks to goals from Noah Wakeford and Jonathan Krahn, plus a split performance in goal from both Tanner Martin and Ethan Langenegger.
On Aug. 24, the Silverbacks fell 6-5 in overtime on home ice to the Warriors. The loss, however, came after the ‘Backs stormed back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game early in the third period and force overtime.
The game in West Kelowna went one period with no goals, with shots 8-4 for Salmon Arm. In the second period, the Warriors opened the scoring thanks to a power-play goal from defenceman Zander Lizotte, but the Silverbacks quickly responded with a play from Trevor Adams and Noah Wakeford. Adams fed the puck to Wakeford, who tied the game 1-1.
In just under two minutes into the final frame of the third period, the Silverbacks got their game-winning goal from a backhand shot from Jonathan Krahn, the goal gave the Silverbacks their first lead of the game.
The Silverbacks had a power play late in the game but didn’t manage to score. They also nearly hit the empty net a few times. In the end, it wouldn’t matter as Krahn’s goal held up. Salmon Arm outshot the Warriors 15-4 in the third period, and 37-18 overall.
The next day the Silverbacks faced off against the West Kelowna team again, this time at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. The Silverbacks faced a tough opponent from the get-go; 33 seconds into the first period the Warriors rushed in and scored the first goal of the evening, followed by three more goals in the next 12 minutes. In the second period, the Silverbacks attempted to quickly turn the tide of the game. Veteran goaltender Brock Baier withstood a barrage of 11 shots from the Silverbacks and stopped each one.
The Silverbacks started a comeback late in the period with goals from Hunter Sansbury, Jayden Price and another by Daniel Rybarik with under a minute left in the period. Another goal was sunk after a passing play which culminated with Price who scored his second goal of the game, bringing the score to 4-4. Neither team found the back of the net for the remainder of the period, which meant one thing: overtime.
In the extra frame, Sansbury was sent to the penalty box for slashing, resulting in a 4-on-3 Warriors power play. Under a minute into the penalty kill, Lucas Cullen fed a pass to Mason Richey out front, who beat Ethan Langenegger over his glove, giving the Warriors their last two points.
Next up, the Silverbacks welcome the Vernon Vipers to town on Wednesday, Aug. 28 for their third pre-season tilt . Vernon dropped its lone exhibition game on Friday night 3-2 to the AJHL’s Grand Prairie Storm.
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