A tense game all night long ended in the Vernon Vipers evening the series 1-1 with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
In the first OT game of the BCHL playoffs, it was the former Silverback Josh Latta playing hero, scoring in the fourth period of play.
The first period was very quiet for both teams with shots favouring Vernon 7-4. The best chance came on a shorthanded breakaway by Connor Marritt who was stopped by the right pad of Ethan Langenegger.
It took to the final minute of the second period, but Salmon Arm was finally able to break the 0-0 tie. With Trevor Adams missing a shift and being looked at by Athletic Therapist Mike Bois, Hudson Schandor took his place on a line with Nick Unruh and Jack Sampson. A cross ice feed from Akito Hirose found Schandor in the right faceoff circle and he was able to score on the team’s 10th shot of the night.
Vernon continued to pressure in the final frame, but it took some time to get momentum rolling. With 11:23 to go, Matt Kowalski had a good shot off a faceoff, and 40 seconds later Teddy Wooding was sprung for a breakaway but turned away. Needing energy, Kal Tire Place got it in the form of a fight between Olson Werenka and Landon Fuller. The two heavyweights had a good tilt, and that had the arena rocking. Just three minutes later, Jesse Lansdell on a great individual effort from behind the net came out from behind the net, and as falling backwards tucked a shot into the top right corner to even the game.
With 1:57 on the clock, Salmon Arm was bound for a power play to potentially score a late goal. Jack Judson hit Trevor Adams from behind for a boarding penalty, but then Sol Seibel came in and the Silverbacks captain got called for roughing.
Both teams traded chances in OT, but it was Josh Latta with a burst of speed up the right wing who scored the winner. Cutting to the goal, the former Salmon Arm forward was able to sneak a shot into the top corner to give his team the win.
Special Teams were even on the night with both teams 0 for 3.
Games 3 and 4 are Monday and Wednesday night in the Shaw Centre. The box office is open Sunday from 12-3 for ticket sales, and during the week at regular hours.