Matthew Armitage does the splits to make a spectacular save in tight against Vernon’s Garrett Worth. (John K. White/Morning Star)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks shut-out Vernon, take OT loss against Merritt

Overtime nets ‘Backs first point of the season against Centennials

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks knocked out another win over the Vernon Vipers on Saturday with a shut-out victory, and a close overtime loss against the Merritt Centennials Sunday.

It came down to a pair of incredible saves from Matthew Armitage and two snipes from Nick Unruh and Tyson Gayfer to seal the deal on a 2-0 Silverbacks shutout.

Related: Silverbacks’ home-ice winning streak ended

Armitage stopped two partial breakaways in the second period that could have easily changed the score and momentum of the game.

There was a minor line brawl at the end of the second. The melee started after a slash by a Vernon player drew the ire of two Salmon Arm skaters. It was enough to get all 10 players on the ice involved in the brawl.

Both of Salmon Arm’s goals came in the second period, with Unruh landing one off the assist from Noah Wakeford and Olson Werenka, followed up by Gayfer with the assist from Unruh and Wakeford. The Vipers struggled with zone entry most of the game, as Salmon Arm’s active sticks and well-timed pressure led to several turnovers.

Sunday’s matchup against the Merritt Centennials was a close one all around, heading into overtime as the Silverbacks came close to finally edging out a win against the division leaders.

It wasn’t looking like a close game after the first period, however, as Merritt put themselves ahead by three points. Payton Matsui came out of nowhere, getting his first two goals this season back-to-back. Late in the first Bradley Cocca buried the Centennials’ third goal and things looked rough for the Silverbacks.

It shifted in the second, with Salmon Arm putting themselves on the board early off the stick of Nick Unruh, assisted by Wakeford. Andy Stevens popped in his second goal of the season at the 10-minute mark, making it 3-2.

Related: Silverbacks inch out another OT win against Vernon Vipers

Coming into the third period it looked like it was going to be a 3-2 win for Merritt, but late in the period Matthew Verboon would land a goal, sending the game into overtime and sealing at least one point for the Silverbacks.

In overtime, Merritt was able to get the extra point as a shot from Jackson Munro in the left face-off circle won the game.

This week, the Silverbacks host the Langley Rivermen in Salmon Arm for the first time this season on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. The Wenatchee Wild return for a rematch on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

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A melee breaks out at the end of the second period, resulting in many penalty minutes to both teams. (John K. White/Morning Star)

Salmon Arm goaltender Matthew Armitage makes a great stop on a partial breakaway by Matt Kowalski. (John K. White/Black Press)

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