Salmon Arm, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks fell 3-2 to the West Kelowna Warriors at the Shaw Centre on Saturday night, dropping their Okanagan Cup record to 1-3.
The Warriors got on the Backs early, establishing a forecheck and generating offensive zone time. Just past the four-minute mark, winger Felix Trudeau gave the visitors an early lead on a 3-on-2 rush, taking a pass from Charles-Alexis Legault and wiring a shot off the post and in.
While the Backs were able to draw numerous power plays in the opening period, they were not able to capitalize on any and they entered the first intermission down 1-0.
Just 2:28 into the second period, however, Sam Schofield tallied his first of the Okanagan Cup to tie the game at one. Philippe Jacques tried to feed a pass from behind the net to linemate Ronan Walsh out front, and instead the puck came to the blueline, where Will Lavigne fed a one-time pass to Joaquim Lemay. Lemay’s shot was stopped by Johnny Derrick, but Schofield back-handed home the rebound.
Unfortunately for Salmon Arm, West Kelowna would tie the game just 39 seconds later, after defenceman Nick Aradanaz connected with Matthew Stienburg on a redirection in the slot.
After 40 minutes, the score was 2-1 for the Warriors, and the shots on goal favoured them slightly, 18-14.
The third period saw a rejuvenated Silverback club and they were rewarded for their work ethic just before the nine minute mark when they took advantage of a bad Warriors change. Just moments after a solid chance from rookie forward Mathieu Bourgault, defenceman Tucker Hartmann turned the puck around very quickly in the neutral zone, connecting with Drew Bennett at the offensive blue line, who was able to get in behind the Warriors defence. Bennett — who had been stopped on a shorthanded breakaway minutes earlier — went to the backhand and tucked it past Derrick to tie the game 2-2.
Not long after, Backs forward Simon Tassy was called for cross-checking and the Warriors capitalized on the power play, thanks to John Evans’ vision, as he spotted Deegan Mofford in a good spot in front for another redirection. Mofford’s third goal of the Okanagan Cup would hold up as the game-winner, despite some solid chances later in the frame from the Silverbacks.
For the full boxscore, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“If you look at [our] power play in the third period and compare it to what it looked like in the first two, it just came down to work. The way that they were tracking back into the zone when we got into our entries, it just seemed like they always had more guys around the puck than we did, which is something you can never have on the power play…The desperation and effort we had in the third period is why we were able to generate so many chances. I thought both goalies really played well. [Riley] Kohonick stepped up early for us in the first period and their goalie stood out for them in the third. It was just one of those ones where one or two bounces go each way and who knows what the game looks like, but really happy with the way we finished…The important thing that we preach all the time is build off the positives and learn from the negatives, so that’s going to be our focus here for the next week.” — Asst. Coach Carter Cochrane
SILVERBACK TOP PERFORMER
Drew Bennett – 1G
“I think in the third period he really took on his role as a leader and showed what it takes to play. He had a great goal there to tie the game up. He found an extra gear and an extra step that I really think helped resonate with our group and I think you can just start to name a bunch of forwards that fell in line with him there.” – Cochrane on Bennett’s performance
The Silverbacks will get their first look at the Vernon Vipers this coming Friday at 6 p.m. at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. The two clubs will then have a rematch at the Shaw Centre the following night at 6:30 p.m.
Fans can stream all games on HockeyTV, and Friday’s game will also be on Shaw Spotlight (local ch. 105, Shaw direct ch. 299) and Mixlr.