Salmon Arm Silverbacks goaltender Matthew Tovell was stellar in a 3-0 win over the Vernon Vipers to kick off the 2022-23 BCHL season Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (Salmon Arm Silverbacks photo)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks goaltender Matthew Tovell was stellar in a 3-0 win over the Vernon Vipers to kick off the 2022-23 BCHL season Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (Salmon Arm Silverbacks photo)

Vernon Vipers shut out by Salmon Arm in season opener

Matthew Tovell stopped all 36 shots he faced for the Silverbacks

Matthew Tovell was perfect between the pipes as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks defeated the Vernon Vipers 3-0 on opening night of the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season.

Tovell, playing his first BCHL start, made 36 saves for the shutout and was named the game’s first star.

A choppy first period at the Shaw Centre saw the Vipers go on two powerplays but with no results. Midway through the period the Backs got a powerplay of their own and held possession in the Vipers end for the full two minutes. However, the Vipers bent but didn’t break and the period ended in a scoreless tie.

In the second, Vipers forward Julian Facchinelli has a glorious chance but was robbed by Tovell on a cross ice pass.

The Backs got on the board moments later as Isaac Lambert converted on a chance down low to give his team a 1-0 lead.

A few minutes later, as the Vipers were setting up on a powerplay, Silverbacks captain Nathan Mackie was sprung on a breakaway and snapped it five hole on goaltender Roan Clarke for a shorthanded tally to make it 2-0.

The Vipers more than doubled the Backs in shots but couldn’t get the bounce they needed.

In the third period, Seiya Tanaka-Campbell had the best chance but just missed up high as the Vipers remained down by a pair. The period was scoreless until the final minute when Ethan Ullrick hit the empty net to bring the game to its final score of 3-0.

The Vipers don’t have to wait long for a shot at redemption. The teams will face off at Kal Tire Place for the second half of a home-and-home at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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