VERNON, BC- Cam McDonald scored 22 seconds into overtime to defeat the Silverbacks 4-3 on home ice.
In the opening period, it was the home side finding the scoresheet first. Luke Buss jammed home a loose puck in front of Silverbacks goaltender Owen Say 5:34 into the period to give the Vipers a 1-0 lead. The Silverbacks nearly tied it on a chance from Danny Ciccarello, but Clarke stretched across to stop it with the left pad. The Vipers controlled play early in the first period, which forced Say to be sharp, and he was. This had the making to be a classic goalie dual. The shots were even after the opening twenty.
The second period was a wild one for many reasons. The Silverbacks had 1:07 of 5 on 3 powerplay time to work with to start, including a 4:00 penalty for slew footing. The Silverbacks thought they had tied the game when Simon Tassy found himself wide open at the side of the net and wired a rebound on net, but Clarke was able to lunge across somehow and rob him with the paddle to keep it 1-0 Vipers. The Vipers seemed to gather a bit of momentum from the crowd after that lengthy kill. Moments later, there was a scary play to the left of the Backs goal, Kieran Ruschieninski got tangled up with a Viper player, and the skate came up and slipped Rushcheiski in the wrist, leaving a trail of blood. He did not return the game. The Vipers got their second powerplay when the Backs were assessed a bench minor for a too-many-men penalty. Ryan Shostak made them pay, snapping his second of the season over the blocker of Say, giving the Vipers a 2-0 lead. But just 44 seconds later, the Silverback’s top-line answered. Mathieu Bourgault took a shot off the right pad, and it bounced right to Noah Serdachny, and we backhanded it into the net past Clarke to cut the lead in half. Three minutes later, the Silverbacks drew even. A point shot off the stick of Lucas Matta found the back of the net, tying the game at 2-2. The goal was Matta’s first of the season.
Moments after his goal, Matta was assessed a game misconduct for checking from behind. With the Silverbacks already down a defenseman, Matta’s absence meant that the Silverbacks were down to four defensemen for the rest of the way. The Silverbacks outshot the Vipers 10-6 in the second period.
In the third period, the Silverbacks continued to press and were rewarded midway through the third period. Guess who? Yep, Simon Tassy again banging home his 5th of the year to give the Silverbacks their first lead of the hockey game. Unfortunately, that lead was short-lived, as Reagan Milburn was the benefactor of a fortunate bounce as his shot bounced a couple of times and made its way past Say to tie the game once again. The Silverbacks got a glorious opportunity to take the lead back in the third period when the Vipers were called for too many men on the ice. Despite a couple of good looks on the man advantage, the Silverbacks could not cash in. meaning we needed overtime.
In the extra frame, it didn’t take long for the home side to end it. Just 22 seconds into the overtime period, Cam McDonald finished the game off a beautiful behind-the-back no-look pass by Tanaka Campbell, sending the hometown crowd into a frenzy.
With the loss, the Silverbacks fall to 2-0-1 on the campaign. They will be in action next Wednesday in Chilliwack for the BCHL Showcase.