No tricks from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks but they were rewarded with treats Saturday.
A third-period powerplay goal, the lone shootout marker from Carter Loney and a stellar performance from goalie Riley Kohonick gave the Silverbacks a 2-1 B.C. Hockey league Okanagan Cup tournament shootout victory over the Vernon Vipers on Halloween night at Kal Tire Place.
The Vipers had dumped the Gorillas 4-1 just 24 hours earlier at the Shaw Centre.
The ‘Backs are now 3-6-1 in the Okanagan Cup, while the Vipers drop to 3-4-3.
It was a tight opening 20 minutes of play, with both teams getting some chances, but both goalies — Kohonick and newcomer Koen MacInnes of Vernon — shut the door. MacInnes was acquired by the Snakes from the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades.
Salmon Arm was also able to draw momentum at the tail end of the opening frame when they killed off a 5-on-3 that spilled over into the second period thanks to some big blocks and hard work from Lucas Matta and Simon Tassy.
The Silverbacks were called for their third straight penalty just over seven minutes into the second period, and just 16 seconds after killing it off, the Vipers found the back of the net. Rookie forward Luke Pakulak shovelled home a backhand on a rebound that snuck through the five-hole of Kohonick for his first BCHL goal.
After 40 minutes of play, the Vipers held a 1-0 edge on the scoreboard and 15-10 lead in shots on goal.
The third period saw Salmon Arm break through on a powerplay with 6:29 remaining. Simon Tassy dropped a pass to the point for Hunter Sansbury, whose wrist shot found its way through traffic off of captain Drew Bennett’s shin pad and past the glove side of MacInnes to even the score.
In overtime, both teams went end to end multiple times, but goaltending and defence were up to the challenge.
In the shootout, Loney would score the only goal to give Salmon Arm the extra point.
Kohonick finished with 30 saves while MacInnes stopped 18 shots for Vernon.
The Vipers are back at it next weekend when they have a home and home set with the Penticton Vees, and the Silverbacks play the West Kelowna Warriors twice. All four games are on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7.