The Silverbacks will host Vernon tonight at 7pm at the Shaw Centre in Game 4 of the Best-of-7 Interior division quarter-final. The Vipers lead the series three games to none after winning 4-2 in Salmon Arm last night. Vernon opened the series with a 5-2 win at home on Friday night and a 6-4 victory on Saturday night in Vernon.
The Vipers opened the scoring just 12 seconds into the first period last night, Derek Brown’s third of the series and his 14th of the season gave Vernon a 1-0 lead. Brown took the first penalty of the game, tripping at 16:25. Brown then gave the Vipers a 2-0 lead with his second of the game, his fourth of the series and his 15th of the season at 18:35. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 13-12 in the first frame.
Salmon Arm began the second period with back-to-back penalties. Sol Seibel was called for roughing at 2:18 and Noah Wakeford was penalized for boarding at 5:43. Vipers captain Jagger Williamson took a tripping penalty at 10:29. And the home team capitalized with the man-advantage as Rhett Kingston scored his second of the playoffs and his 26th of the season at 11:25, 2-1 Vernon. Each team had 10 shots on goal in the second and the Vipers lead 23-22 overall.
Vernon began the third with a cross-checking penalty to Michael Ufberg at 4:15. Seibel was penalized for head contact along with a 10 minute misconduct at 9:09. The Vipers went ahead 3-1 at 17:22, Niko Karamanis’s first of the post-season and his 13th. Julian Timba got the Silverbacks back within one with his second of the playoffs and his fifth of the season at 18:33, 3-2 Vernon. The Vipers finished the scoring into an empty net at 18:58, 4-2 Vernon with Williamson’s third of the series and his 21st of the season. Each team used their time-out in the final minute of the third.
The Vipers outshot the Silverbacks 17-8 in the third and 40-30 Vernon overall. Kyle Dumba suffered the loss in goal last night (Tuesday). The Vipers outshot the Silverbacks 47-24 in Game 2 and 43-25 Vernon in Game 1.
The Silverbacks finished 1-for-3 on the power-play on Tuesday and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill. Salmon Arm was 1-for-1 on the power-play on Saturday and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill. The Silverbacks were 0-for-4 on the power-play on Friday and 2-for-3 on the PK.
Max Wutzke returned to Salmon Arm on Tuesday. The 19-year-old defenseman from Calgary, AB is recovering after he was hit into the boards in Coquitlam on February 7th. Wutzke spent three weeks in hospital in the Lower Mainland following multiple surgeries on his left leg.
Game 5 (if needed) will be back in Vernon on Friday, March 9th. Game 6 (if needed) will be at the Shaw Centre on Saturday, March 10th. Game 7 (if needed) will be at Kal Tire Place in Vernon on Sunday, March 11th at 6pm.
Trail won 6-3 in West Kelowna on Tuesday, the Smoke Eaters swept the Warriors four games to none in that Interior quarter-final. Penticton won 7-2 in Coquitlam last night, the Vees lead that series 3-0 with Game 4 set for tonight in Coquitlam at 7pm. Wenatchee won 5-4 in Merritt on Tuesday, the Wild are ahead three games to none with Game 4 tonight at 7pm in the Nicola Valley.