The Salmon Arm Silverbacks got a little taste of redemption Friday night, coming out victorious over the Wenatchee Wild after a tough run of losses against the Washington skaters this season.
Coming into the final stretch of the regular season, the Silverbacks face a slew of tough games ahead of them. This Friday night victory is the first in a three-game series against the Wild, followed by a double-header against Penticton, another of the league’s top contenders. Spinning out a win over Wenatchee should give the boys some jump in their step as they continue this tough series.
Contrary to the high-scoring games against Wenatchee in the past, things kicked off slow in the first during the Friday night contest. Salmon Arm opened the scoring just after 13 minutes into the first, with Sam Schoenfeld nailing his first BCHL goal, assisted by Nick Unruh. Wenatchee didn’t let this lead hold for long, however, as Blake Bargar took advantage of an opening and evened the scoreboard just two minutes later.
Heading into the second at 1-1, it was still anyone’s game. Jack Sampson would be the one to break the tie for the Silverbacks, snagging his second goal while playing on the Silverbacks bench. Coming off the left wall, he skated in and slid a puck along the ice that cracked off the right post and in for what would stand as the unassisted game winner. The remainder of the second was scoreless for both sides, though Ethan Langenegger had a heart-stopping save on a 2-on-1 play late in the period that very nearly turned the game around.
The third period was a mad scramble for both sides of the ice, as Wenatchee struggled to hit the high-scoring numbers they have become known for, and Salmon Arm worked to hold the lead with tight defence. With just over a minute to go, John Little would add the insurance goal to clear up any chances of a surprise overtime. A slick series of passes from Aiden Jenner to Andy Stevens and off to Little would find the back of the net, making it 3-1 for the Silverbacks with little time remaining.
Coming up tonight, Feb. 16, the Silverbacks are on the ice again in Washington for a rematch with the Wild. Wenatchee makes their own trip to Salmon Arm on Feb. 19, before the final home-and-away series of the season as the Penticton Vees visit the Shaw Centre Feb. 22, followed by a trip to Penticton for the Silverbacks Feb. 23.