Against the Surrey Eagles. This Weekend. In 2019.
Salmon Arm is 2-0 for all of them. Saturday night in the team’s “Re-Home Opener” Salmon Arm battled out a gutsy 6-2 win. Nick Unruh paced the attack with two goals while four others had multi-point nights.
Justin Wilson nearly opened the scoring eight minutes in on a tip, but Cayden Bailey was able to get in front of the shot. Two minutes later Salmon Arm would break through short handed. Hudson Schandor came down one-on-one with the defenseman, and spinning in the shot fired the puck in for his 12th goal of the season. Just 31 seconds later, and with three ticks left on the man advantage Surrey tied the game with Matthew McKim tipping the puck from in front of the net. The non- five on five goals continued with the Eagles taking their first lead of the game with 33 seconds left. On a four-on-four, 16 year old Brandon Santa Juana received a puck to the net of the net, and walked out uncontested sliding a puck through the legs of Matthew Armitage.
A night after stopping 37 of 38 shots, Armitage allowed a pair on the Eagles nine first period shots. Those would be the last he allowed though stopping the next 17 he faced for his second straight win of the year. His best save in the first was robbing Matthew McKim who got setup alone in the slot, but a diving glove save kept the puck out.
A quick burst in the second would restore the Salmon Arm lead in the span of just 20 seconds. Four minutes in Noah Wakeford swung behind the net, and setup Nick Unruh who was parked in front to tie the game at two. Before the goal was even announced, it was Justin Wilson tipping in a point shot to put his side ahead 3-2 in the game. Going 0 for 8 to start the new year, Salmon Arm would finally break through on the power play to give themselves some insurance with a two goal lead. Captain Sol Seibel pinched into the play, and a sharp angled shot from the left goal goal line bounced right in front for John Little to tap in for his third of the season.
Perhaps the biggest moment for Salmon Arm came in the third on a five minute penalty kill. Olson Werenka received the only five minute penalty for fighting despite his opponent Dawson McKay dropping his gloves and throwing some punches himself. The fight started after McKay gave Justin Wilson a high cross check away from the play. The Silverbacks killed the entire five minute opportunity for Surrey, and would score roughly a minute after themselves. Coming down on a two-on-one with Noah Wakeford, shooter Nick Unruh took the shot and went five hole to extend the Silverbacks lead to 5-2. Surrey would run into penalty trouble late, and Salmon Arm added one for good measure on a five-on-three advantage. Seibel took a shot from the right circle, and Aiden Jenner was parked in front for the tip to give himself four goals on the season.
West Kelowna lost Saturday, and with the two points from their win over Surrey, the Silverbacks move to within three points of fourth, and hold three games in hand over the Warriors. Salmon Arm will wrap up the weekend tomorrow with an afternoon tilt against the Penticton Vees at 3pm in the Shaw Centre. SASCU members get tickets at a 2-for-1 price, and following the game there will be a FREE public skate with the Silverbacks available for pictures and autographs.