The Scotiabank Bantam Tier 2 Silvertips held their annual home tournament over the Nov. 16-18 weekend, hosting 11 teams from across the province.
The tournament is a good economic engine for the city and provides an exciting brand of Rep hockey for B.C. players born in 1998/99. Teams from Westside, Terrace, Kelowna (Pursuit of Excellence Academy), Quesnel, Port Alberni, Nelson, Williams Lake, Kamloops, Abbotsford, Prince George and Kelowna attended. Scouts from various Western Hockey League major junior clubs were also in attendance, looking for talent for the upcoming bantam draft.
The home team started off strong against Port Alberni, riding a Triston Ferguson hat trick and four point performance from Alex Astasiewicz to win a 7-1 decision on Friday morning. The most exciting game occurred that afternoon, with the Silvertips coming back from an early 4-0 deficit against Williams Lake to actually take the lead 5-4 into the middle of the third, only to let in two late ones, including an empty netter, in a heartbreaking loss. Dawson Head, Triston Ferguson and Joey Guerra each had two points in that game.
Saturday morning saw a close one against Nelson and, despite outshooting the opposition by a wide margin, the team was unable to solve a hot goalie in a 3-2 loss. This loss eliminated the team from the final four and set up a game against association rivals, Kelowna. The Sunday morning game went back and forth, resulting in a 6-4 win by the home team, led by three point performances from Triston Ferguson and Nathan Plessis. Tournament MVP’s were awarded to Alex Astasiewicz, Nathan Plessis, Shane Minnis and Triston Ferguson.
The team players and staff are grateful to all parent volunteers who put in long hours performing all the tasks and preparation needed to make the tournament a huge success. Thanks also goes out to participating business sponsors.
The Salmon Arm Blades and the Vernon Flames faced off Saturday evening, offering a spectacular display of skill and sportsmanship. Spectators were impressed with the skill and process shown by both teams. The first and second frames were nail-biters, with neither team finding the back of the other’s net. Scoring commenced in the third period with a marker from Salmon Arm, leading fans to an excited frenzy. Vernon turned up the heat in the last half of the period, pulling the goalie with only minutes left in the game. But the Blades’ single went unanswered, successfully shutting out the Vernon team.
It was a refreshing display in these times where the NHL has forgotten what hockey is all about. Skill, sportsmanship and a love of the game.
The L. Turner Contracting Salmon Arm SilverBacks Atom A Development team hit the road to face Kelowna on Sunday, falling to the home team by a score of 5-4 in a seesaw battle in Rutland.
Kelowna opened scoring before Colby Feist put the ’Backs on the board off a rebound, with a Kelowna defenceman draped over his back like a second skin. Feist scored a second time later in the period on the power play.
Kelowna took the lead back with a pair in the second. Zander Stewart would score late in the frame, roofing the puck over the Kelowna goaltender’s glove to tie it back up. Kelowna took the lead back early in the third period before Feist rounded out the hat trick with his third, just one minute later. The game seemed destined for overtime, until Kelowna scored with under three minutes left in the game. The ’Backs pulled their goalie with a minute and a half left to work, but couldn’t solve the Kelowna netminder.
The Atom A Development SilverBacks are grateful who provided support for comedy night over the past weekend.
Salmon Arm faces Kelowna in Sicamous for a home game on Saturday, Nov. 24.