Salmon Arm Silverbacks lose shootout thriller in Vernon

Gorillas also came up short on the road in West Kelowna

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks suffered a pair of frustrating losses, one of which was settled with a shoot out.

Taking on the Vernon Vipers on Friday, Nov. 22, the Silverbacks leaped into the lead 12 minutes after the opening face-off with a goal from Drew Bennett.

The Vipers tied the game with a goal from Matt Kowalski just a minute after the puck dropped to start the second period.

Following a scoreless third frame, the game went into overtime during which the goaltenders at each end of the ice could not be beat. The game had to be decided with a shoot out.

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Nick Unruh was up first for a one-on-one against Vipers goaltender Reilly Herbst and he made the most of it, scoring on the back hand to give the ‘Backs the early advantage. Cameron MacDonald was the first to test Ethan Langenegger at the other end of the ice but the Silverbacks’ goalie turned the shot away. William Poirier couldn’t beat Herbst on the next attempt for the ‘Backs, giving Vernon’s captain Connor Marritt a chance to tie things up. Marritt found Langenegger mesh blocker, putting the pressure on the last two shooters. Akito Hirose was stopped by Herbst and then Logan Cash scored, wrapping up a 2-1 win for the Vipers.

The following night, the Silverbacks hit the road for West Kelowna to play the Warriors. The home team set the tone with a goal 16 seconds after the opening faceoff from the stick of John Evans. Evans followed up with a second goal in the final minutes of the period.

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The second period began with a fight between Holden Knights and former Silverback Spencer Hora. The Silverbacks peppered West Kelowna’s net with 20 shots in the second period but only one from William Poirier at 7:15 found the back of the net. A goal from Max Bulawka late in the period left the Warriors with a sturdy two-goal lead heading into the third.

Noah Wakeford scored early in the final period, but soon West Kelowna was back in the driver’s seat tallying a trio of goals, all on the power play before the period was over. At the buzzer, the final score was 6-2 for West Kelowna.

Next weekend, the Silverbacks will be hosting the Langley Rivermen on Nov. 29 and then they will get another crack at the Vernon Vipers on Nov. 30.


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