The Silverbacks and Vipers will meet tonight in Vernon at 7pm, less than 24 hours after the Vipers won 5-2 at home over Salmon Arm in the opener of the Best-of-7 Interior quarter-final series.
The visitors opened the scoring last night, Tanner Campbell potted his first of the post-season and his 17th of the season exactly two minutes into period one. Salmon Arm had the first power-play of the series at 3:04, Connor Marritt for boarding. Akito Hirose was penalized for hooking at 10:33. Former Silverback Cameron Trott tied the game 1-1 on the power-play at 11:35, Trott’s first of the playoffs and his fourth of the season. The Silverbacks had the final man-advantage of the first at 14:56, Jesse Lansdell for cross-checking.
Vernon lead 16-10 on the shot clock in the opening 20 minutes.
Salmon Arm took it’s lead back at 1:25 of the second, Campbell’s second of the playoffs and his 18th of the season put the visitors in front 2-1. Vernon tied the game 2-2 at 6:53, Derek Brown’s first of the post-season and 12th overall. The Vipers took their first lead of the night 3-2 at 7:53, Jagger Williamson’s first of the playoffs and 19th. The Silverbacks went back to the power-play at 8:38, the Vipers were penalized for too many men. Nick Unruh was called for slashing at 9:51. And former Silverback Josh Latta took the final penalty of the middle frame, goaltender interference at 11:00.
The Vipers outshot Salmon Arm 15-10 in the second period, 31-20 Vernon overall.
Justin Wilson began the third with a hooking penalty at 3:50. Demetri Kambeitz and Lansdell each took unsportsmanlike conduct penalties at 6:45. Another set of concidental penalties at 9:44, Campbell for slashing and Williamson for cross-checking. Vernon went ahead 4-2 at 11:14 with Latta’s first of the post-season and ninth overall, Latta’s second goal as a Viper. The home team lead 5-2 at 18:14, Mitch Andres potted his first of the playoffs and his fourth of the season.
Vernon outshot the Silverbacks 12-5 in the third and 43-25 Vipers total. Reid Cooper started in goal and took the loss for the visitors.
Salmon Arm finished 0-for-4 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill in Game 1.
Sol Seibel returned to action for the Silverbacks on Friday after his four game suspension for head contact following last Wednesday’s loss at home to Penticton. Salmon Arm’s Logan Mostat is eligible to return tonight after his four game suspension for head contact early in last Thursday’s loss in Merritt. Max Wutzke is recovering at his home just outside of Calgary, AB. The 19-year-old defenseman spent three weeks in hospital in the Lower Mainland following multiple surgeries on his left leg. Wutzke was hit into the boards early in the first period of the Silverbacks victory in Coquitlam on February 7th.
Games 3 and 4 will be at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 6th and 7th. Game 5 (if needed) will be back in Vernon on Friday, March 9th. Game 6 (if needed) will be at the Shaw Centre on Saturday, March 10th. Each of the first six games will have 7pm starts. Game 7 (if needed) will be at Kal Tire Place in Vernon on Sunday, March 11th at 6pm.
Tickets for both home games in Salmon Arm are on sale now. Box office opens at 9 am on Monday.
Trail will host West Kelowna tonight at 7pm, the Smoke Eaters opened that Interior quarter-final with a 6-5 overtime victory at home over the Warriors last night. Penticton is at home to Coquitlam at 6pm, the Vees opened with a 1-0 win at home against the Express on Friday. Wenatchee will host Merritt tonight, the Wild began the post-season with a 4-0 win at home over the Centennials on Thursday.