Silverbacks forward Aiden Jenner squares off with Coquitlam forward Danny Pearson during their Feb. 5 game. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks defeat Coquitlam Express in shootout victory

Tense midweek game comes down to a stalemate in third period

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks spun a shootout victory out of a tense game against the Coquitlam Express on Feb. 5.

In a mid-week matchup at the Shaw Centre, both teams did a good job keeping each other out of scoring distance.

Early in the first period, John Little put the Silverbacks ahead with a goal, assisted by Matthew Verboon and affiliate player Nikola Sombrowski. Verboon launched the puck out from behind the Coquitlam net, sending it to Sombrowski who made a good pass, giving Little his 13th game in a row with a point.

Related: Silverbacks captain, coach talk about the pre-playoff push

For the remainder of the first and the entirety of the second, both teams traded chances but to no avail on either side. Salmon Arm came out of the second with a clear offensive dominance, putting up 15 shots on goal to Coquitlam’s three.

Coming into the third, up by just a single point, the ’Backs’ lead was a fragile one. During a power play in the third, Coquitlam would turn the game into a true nail-biter as Regan Kimens tied the game. The Silverbacks would push to regain the advantage before regulation time ended, but the game was destined for overtime.

Over the five minutes of the extra frame, the stalemate held strong, thanks to Ethan Langenegger’s stellar netminding, which stopped two good plays from Coquitlam. After five minutes in OT, the decision was left up to a shootout.

Related: Silverbacks make back-to-back wins over Warriors

Coquitlam went first in the shootout, with Dallas Farrell being stopped by Langenegger despite a good attempt to fake out the Silverbacks goalie. Nick Unruh was next up for Salmon Arm, coming down the left wing and lifting a backhand over the goaltender’s glove for the point. Ty Westgard made the second attempt for Coqutilam, which was blocked, before Verboon made it two for two on the shootout and sealed the win for the Silverbacks.

This win over Coquitlam bumps the Silverbacks up the BCHL league standings for the second time in a week, putting them above the Vernon Vipers and into fourth place in their division. Up next this weekend, the Silverbacks head out to Trail for a double-header against the Smoke Eaters.

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