PHOTO: LISA MAZUREK PHOTOGRAPHY
Vernon, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks erased a 5-1 deficit on Wednesday afternoon against the Vernon Vipers, equalizing the game at 5-5 in the final minute of play, only to see the Vipers win the game 3:40 into overtime.
This game was nuts. Straight nuts. But fun.
The first period saw the Backs come out flying, throwing six shots on goal in the first few minutes, but then take a penalty, where the Vipers generated good looks of their own.
Backs netminder Liam Vanderkooi, who was making his first career regular season start, turned away all five shots he saw on his first PK.
With just over six minutes to go in the frame, Backs forward Julian Recine connected with Daniel Panetta on a heads-up slap pass play to open the scoring for the good guys on their second power play.
Salmon Arm would take the 1-0 lead into the break.
The second period is where things went a bit sideways, but not until the second half.
At exactly the 10-minute mark, Nic Rimissong elected to shoot on a 2-on-1 and beat Vanderkooi on the blocker side to even the score. Just 1:29 later, Cam MacDonald converted on a backhand wrap around to make it 2-1. Just 1:14 after that, Kjell Kjemhus snuck one short side to make the score 3-1. The damage wasn’t done yet.
On a 4-on-3 power play at the 15:23 mark of the second, Reagan Milburn ripped a one-timer to extend the Viper lead to 4-1.
After the Backs were whistled for a four-minute slew-footing penalty, Vernon scored on the ensuing power play courtesy of Ryan Shostak to seemingly put the game out of reach at 5-1.
But the Silverbacks had other plans.
Under three minutes after Shostak’s goal, Noah Serdachny notched his first career BCHL goal on a power play after receiving an impressive cross-ice pass from Sullivan Mack.
The score wasn’t 5-2 for long. On another Backs man advantage, Panetta stuffed one home through the five-hole at the side of the goal to make it a 5-3.
Two minutes later, James Porter Jr. came out to play the puck behind the Vernon net and had it stolen by Mat Bourgault, who centered the puck for Daniel Panetta. Panetta had a yawning cage and made no mistake to cut the Vipers lead to one.
With the game once again tight, it was time for some late-game heroics.
Salmon Arm pulled Vanderkooi for the extra attacker with just over a minute remaining, and with the 6-on-5 advantage, Sansbury ripped a shot off the post. Luckily, the puck ricocheted off the post right onto the stick of Serdachny, who deposited the puck to the back of the net, tying the game 5-5.
The Silverbacks had a couple really good looks in overtime, particularly Panetta paired with Sullivan Mack, but Porter Jr. came up big.
Then, with 1:20 to go, defenceman Griffen Barr notched his first career BCHL goal to end the game, 6-5 in Vernon’s favour.
For the full boxscore, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“Our leadership group…really took control of the room in the second intermission and had some choice things to say about our performance and what we needed to do and how we were going to be able to get back into the game. It’s easy to have all the right things to say. When…you get down 5-1 after a power play goal they scored at the beginning of the third, a lot of those words are hard to follow up on after something like that happens, but it’s a huge credit to our group and the resiliency they showed and the effort they had to get that game tied up. Definitely at 5-1, you probably aren’t sitting here thinking ‘wow, these guys deserve a win’, but to get all the way to 5-5, I think these guys deserved a better fate.” – Silverbacks assistant coach Carter Cochrane
The Silverbacks face off against the West Kelowna Warriors for the second time this season at 1 p.m. on Thursday at Kal Tire Place. After that, Salmon Arm plays on Saturday at 6 p.m. against Vernon and Sunday at 4 p.m. against the Warriors again.
Fans can stream all games on BCHL TV!