Thanks to phenomenal goaltending by Nic Tallarico, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks handed the Penticton Vees a 4-3 double-overtime loss at the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday night.
Tallarico earned second star honours for a 50-save performance.
“He was absolutely unbelievable,” said Carter Cochrane, who put the dagger in the Vees at 2:25 when he hammered a shot past Mat Robson on an odd-man rush in 3-on-3 action. “For a kid to come in here like that, he’s only been with us for a short time, and his first game just looked like an absolute seasoned vet. He’s a little guy, but God is he tenacious. It was fun to watch.”
For the first time this season the Vees have lost back-to-back games and are now 23-5-0-1.
“I thought we had a pretty good game,” said Vees defenceman Griffin Mendel. “He (Tallarico) was unbelievable. He stood on his head.”
Cochrane on his winner: “It’s a great feeling. We know we needed these two points bad. We’re trying to turn the ship around here. Beating a team like Penticton really sends a message that we’re for real and we’re going to try to build from this going forward.”
Outshooting the Silverbacks 31-18 after two periods, the Vees headed into their dressing room trailing 3-1. The lone goal of the second was scored by Jared Turcotte at 2:01when he fired a shot over Robson, who finished with 25 saves.
Both teams fired 10 shots on goal. The Vees generated several quality chances, including hitting two crossbars in the same shift. Taylor Ward was found alone in the slot area. Going one-on-one with Silverbacks goalie Nic Tallarico, Ward got robbed by his glove. Defenceman Joey Leahy deked his way to the goal, but was stymied by Tallarico’s right pad. With three minutes remaining in the period, Ward had another quality chance on a wraparound but couldn’t tuck the puck past Tallarico.
In extra time Ward had a golden chance but was denied by the Silverbacks goalie, named the second star after a 50-save performance.
PENTICTON VEES captain Nicholas Jones creates problems for Salmon Arm Silverbacks goalie Nic Tallarico, who gives him a shot. Jones would fall on top of former Vee Josh Blanchard (16).
“We definitely feel that we outplayed them. We got our chances,” said Mendel. “We just didn’t get any bounces going our way. Just no puck luck.”
The Vees scored early in the final frame as Ty Amonte went to the net and had a pass to the crease go in off of him. Pressing, the Vees got the equalizer when Duncan Campbell redirected a Sillinger point shot with 19.3 seconds left. Amonte scored the Vees’ first goal.
Mendel said they could have done better with small details in the defensive zone to limit their chances.
The Silverbacks led 2-1 after the first despite being outshot 21-8. Neither team took advantage of power play opportunities as the Vees were 0-for-3 and the Silverbacks 0-for-4.The Silverbacks are now 12-17-1-0.
Attendance was 2,651. The Vees will host the Powell River Kings Saturday at 6 p.m.
Video courtesy of Jayson Moonie.