PHOTO: TAMI QUAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Vernon, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks scored twice in the final five minutes of Wednesday’s game, but it wasn’t quite enough to claw back from their 5-2 deficit, as they were edged 5-4 by the West Kelowna Warriors.
The Backs drop to 9-6-3 on the season and remain three points back of the first place Vernon Vipers with two games remaining each. The Warriors improve to 7-9-2.
If Salmon Arm beats Vernon Friday, they could still potentially finish in first in the pod standings, but they’d need to not only go 2-0 in their games this weekend, but also hope that the Warriors beat Vernon in their final game of the season on Sunday.
The first half of the opening period was fairly even, although the Warriors had more dangerous looks and just couldn’t capitalize.
The momentum took a swing when Hunter Sansbury made a fantastic open ice hit on Carter Schmidt, who was just about to shoot from the slot. On the ensuing offensive possession, Logan Shaw found Sansbury with a cross-ice pass, and although Sansbury’s shot was stopped, Danny Ciccarello was right there to put away the rebound and open the scoring.
Salmon Arm took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission, along with a 16-8 advantage in shots on goal.
In the second period, the Warriors pushed back in a big way, scoring twice to take a 2-1 lead.
First, Nick Ardanaz netted his first of the season on a power play 4:35 into the period, followed by a Riley Sharun goal at the halfway point of the period, thanks to some good passing from Marcus Joughin and Tyler Cristall.
After 40 minutes, the Backs were down 2-1.
The third period saw a flurry of goals, the first one coming off the stick of 16-year-old Carter Schmidt, who gave the Warriors a 3-1 advantage at the 6:16 mark.
The Silverbacks only needed 24 seconds to respond to that early adversity, as Tucker Hartmann made a fantastic play to walk the blueline and create space for himself, before moving down the wing and feeding Logan Shaw in front of the net for a tap-in.
West Kelowna would respond with two more goals, first Skyler Cameron and then Carter Wilkie to make it a 5-2 lead with just 5:27 remaining in the game.
Warriors captain Elan Bar Lev Wise was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty immediately following Wilkie’s goal and soon after Zach Brooks was called for the same infraction, given the Backs a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:21. Sixteen seconds after the 5-on-3 began, Sansbury rocketed home a one-blast to make the score 5-3.
While Salmon Arm couldn’t score on the second power play, Warriors forward Riley Sharun was soon whistled for delay of game after purposely falling on and covering the puck in the defensive zone. This time, the Backs were able to capitalize on the power play again. A strong zone entry from Cameron Recchi led to a heads-up pass from Sullivan Mack to Simon Tassy, who sniped a shot to the top corner to make it a 5-4 game with 2:17 remaining in the game.
While Tassy’s league-leading 16th goal of the season got the Backs to within one, they were unable to find the equalizer, as Johnny Derrick shut the door on Noah Serdachny in the dying seconds to secure the victory for West Kelowna.
For the full boxscore from Wednesday’s game, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“We definitely didn’t control the pace of the game as much as we’d like to and I don’t think we started nearly good enough. If we thought it was good enough, it definitely showed in the second that we continued to play that way. Just a lot of one and done opportunities. Whether that was get a shot on net or get a puck in deep and if we won a battle, we didn’t seem to win the next battle a lot. That was something that we did a lot last week. It just felt like [last week] we were coming wave after wave after wave at times. Not even with shots or chances or goals, but just with our play. [Tonight] we just weren’t able to sustain enough momentum to really take over the game maybe until near the end, and at that point it’s just too little, too late. I just don’t think we had enough guys all on the same page pulling in the right direction and it’s one where it’s tough and it stings, but we’ve got two big ones coming up this weekend where we’ve got to take care of business and still have a shot at winning the pod here.” — Assistant coach Carter Cochrane
SASCU 3 STARS
- Marcus Joughin – WK – 3A
- Cameron Recchi – SA – 3A
- Nick Ardanaz– WK – 1G
FORTIS BC ENERGY PLAYER OF THE GAME
Bryden Sinclair – WK – 1A
The Silverbacks only have two more games remaining in the BCHL pod season: Friday, May 7 at 7 p.m. against the Vernon Vipers and Saturday, May 8 at 6 p.m. against the West Kelowna Warriors.
Fans can stream all games on BCHL TV!