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Backs Can’t Solve Katz, Fall 2-0 to Warriors.

SALMON ARM, BC- Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero scored a powerplay goal midway through the third period, and goaltender Justin Katz stopped all 26 shots he faced as The West Kelowna Warriors shut out the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 2-0 on home ice.

The first half of the opening twenty minutes went by in the blink of an eye, as it consisted of hardly any whistles. The Silverbacks got the first ‘Grade A’ scoring chance of the period, it came as Simon Tassy threaded a pass through the seam to Aidan Lindblad, but Warrior’s goaltender Justin Katz was up to the task keeping it scoreless. The Warriors answered with a good scoring chance of their own. It was a mad scramble in front of Own Say, and he somehow was able to keep the puck out without looking at the play, as it hit his back and stayed out. The Warriors got a late powerplay when Nathan Morin committed a hooking infraction in the offensive zone. Despite solid zone time, the Silverbacks were successful and killed it off. The Silverbacks outshot the Warriors 8-7. This is the 4th consecutive period that the Silverbacks have held the Warriors to under ten shots.

In the second period, the Silverbacks got a pair of powerplays. First, Jayden Price went off for hooking; then Chase Dafoe took a tripping penalty midway through the middle frame. Despite incredible zone time and a mountain of shots, the Backs couldn’t solve Katz. There was no scoring in the middle frame. The Backs outshot the Warriors 10-7 in the second period.

The final period came, and the game was still searching for the first goal. Three minutes into the third period Noah Serdachny was called for hooking, but the Silverbacks killed it off. Then midway through the third period, Santa Juana laid a hit on Warriors forward Tyler Cristall in front of the Silverbacks bench. As a result, he got called for a very questionable high-sticking penalty. The Silverbacks almost killed it off, but Warriors forward Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero was able to tip home the Nicolas Ardanaz point shot for the first goal of the hockey game, Felix Trudeau picked up the second assist. The Silverbacks got a powerplay with six minutes to go in the third but did just about everything but score. Then in the final minute of the game, with the goalie pulled, Lucas Matta bobbled the puck at the line, and it was very close to being a hand pass, as Tyler Cristall gloved to a wide-open John Evans, who put home the empty net marker to put the game out of reach. Justin Katz made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season, while Owen Say made 21 stops for the Silverbacks.

The Backs fall to 11-3-1 on the season and will be back in action on Wednesday at home against the Vernon Vipers before hitting the road to Wenatchee for three games in three nights.