Salmon Arm Silverbacks sweep first round in playoff series

The ‘Backs bested the Victoria Grizzlies to advance to the second round of the BCHL playoffs

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks will be moving on to round two of the BCHL playoffs

The team pulled off a pair of playoff wins on the road to finish a sweep of their series against the Victoria Grizzlies.

After winning games one and two in Salmon Arm, the ‘Backs travelled to Victoria for game three on March 2. The visiting Silverbacks came out strong in the opening period, piling up three goals but allowing the Grizzlies to get one as well. The home team put up a second goal in the middle frame, but a scoreless third period left the ‘Backs up 3-2 at the final buzzer and one game away from pulling off a clean sweep.

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The following night, the ‘Backs faced off again with the Victoria squad, who were fighting for their playoff lives. The home team put the first goal on the board, but Silverbacks forward Luke Mylymok tied the game up with three seconds left in the first frame. Logan Shaw wasted no time, giving the Silverbacks the lead after scoring less than three minutes into the second frame, assisted by Sam Schofield and Jeremy Gervais. The Silverbacks’ slim lead held on into the third period.

The Silverbacks’ next goal came from an unlikely source. Towering D-man Kieran Ruscheinski beat Victoria’s goaltender Liam Soulière for his first goal of the season, putting the ‘Backs up 3-1. Shortly after, Ruscheinski was sent to the box on a goaltender interference penalty and the Grizzlies scored on the power play, leaving a close game for the final eight minutes. The Grizzlies battled hard and the game’s final 10 seconds were especially tense as Hunter Sansbury was sent to the box for hooking, giving the home team a manpower advantage. The Silverbacks held on for another 3-2 win, putting their series against the Grizzlies to bed.

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In the second round, the ‘Backs will be taking on the winner of the series between the Vernon Vipers and Wenatchee Wild. The Vipers currently lead 2-1 after a 4-2 win over the Wild on March 3. The series will continue with a March 4 game in Vernon before heading back to Wenatchee on March 6.

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