Silverbacks goaltender Liam Vanderkooi focuses in goal before a face-off on Nov. 5, 2021, against Merritt. (Chris Fowler image)

Silverbacks goaltender Liam Vanderkooi focuses in goal before a face-off on Nov. 5, 2021, against Merritt. (Chris Fowler image)

3 goals in 59 seconds help lift Salmon Arm Silverbacks to victory

Nov. 5 win against Merritt Centennials is the Silverbacks’ sixth in a row

By Blake Friars, contributor

On Nov. 5, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks scored three goals in 59 seconds in the second period to pace the Silverbacks to a 7-2 victory on home ice against the Merritt Centennials.

The Silverbacks were in the middle of three games in four nights as they welcomed the visiting Centennials to the Shaw Centre. There weren’t many whistles to begin the opening period; the first media timeout came at the 18:35 mark of the opening frame.

The Silverbacks got three powerplays in the opening 20 minutes; they were able to capitalize on one of them. Panetta planted himself in front of the Centennials goaltender Keegan Maddocks, got a pass from Simon Tassy and directed it in past Maddocks for his fourth of the campaign.

The Silverbacks nearly made it 2-0 on the next man advantage, but Santa Juana was denied on the doorstep. The Cents tied the game late with a point shot off the stick of defenceman Talon Zakall, beating Liam Vanderkooi under the blocker to deadlock the game at one apiece. The Silverbacks outshot the Centennials 12-6 in the opening frame.

In the middle frame, it was the Backs striking first shorthanded when Tassy came flying down the left wing and snapped his 10th of the season over the glove of Maddocks to give the home side a 2-1 lead. However, that lead was short-lived, as Cents defenceman Tristan Allen took a harmless shot from the right circle, and it somehow snuck under the arm of Vanderkooi, tying the game at two.

The Silverbacks replied six minutes later when Tucker Hartmann’s point shot was tipped in by rookie forward Owen Beckner for his first BCHL goal. But the Backs weren’t done there; just 38 seconds later, it was Matt Bourgault who pounced on a loose puck in front of the Centennials goal to double the lead. The goal was Bourgault’s first of the season. Twenty-one seconds later, it was Lucas Matta’s turn to get in on the offensive party, as he ripped a wrister over the shoulder of Maddocks to give the Backs a 5-2 lead. The Backs outshot the Cents 13-6 in the second stanza.

To begin the final frame, the Silverbacks added another shorthanded marker early in the period. In his first season with the team, Ethan Ullrick, one of the Silverbacks’ best penalty killers, forced a turnover, burst down the right side, cut across the grain, and slid it through the five-hole to extend the lead to 6-2. Then midway through the third period, Lucas Matta continued his hot hand offensively, as he let go a point shot that found its way into the top corner for his sixth of the season. The Cents controlled the shot department in the third, outshooting the Backs 13-6.

With the win, the Backs improve to a BCHL best 8-0-1 on the season and extend their winning streak to six games. They will be back in action Nov. 6 in Coquitlam as they battle the Express. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.

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BCHLSalmon Arm Silverbacks