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Backs Winning Streak Reaches Seven

PENTICTON, BC: Simon Tassy scored a pair of goals in the second period, and Owen Say turned aside 31/33, as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks defeated the Penticton Vees 5-2 on the road and extended their winning streak to seven in a row.

It was the first game both teams have played in over ten days, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the start of the contest. In the opening parts of the first period, it was a fast-paced, physical start. The Vees got the game’s first man advantage when Vees forward Silverbacks defenceman Lucas Matta hauled down Luc Wilson. The Vees just needed 33 seconds to strike. Wilson feathered a backdoor pass through a crowd to forward Bradley Nadeau, and he made no mistake directing it past Silverbacks goaltender Owen Say. The shots at the time were 4-0 Vees. After that, the Silverbacks began to push. It was the top line of Simon Tassy, Noah Serdachny, and Mat Bourgault, generating a couple of chances in tight but were unable to beat Vees goaltender Carter Serhyenko. The Silverbacks got a powerplay late in the first period when defenceman Josh Niedermayer high-sticked Tassy. Despite some good looks, the Silverbacks could not cash in. Moments after the powerplay, the Silverbacks deadlocked the score. Tucker Hartmann let go a shot-pass from the point, and it was deflected in by Brandon Santa Juana. The goal extended his point streak to seven games and was his 13th of the season. The Silverbacks outshot the Vees 8-7 in the opening twenty minutes.

In the middle frame, the Silverbacks got an early powerplay when Owen Simpson hauled down Nathan Morin on a breakaway and went off for tripping, resulting in the Backs second powerplay of the evening. This time they cashed in. It was a Mike Ladyman point shot that got through, and Tassy was able to jam it home for his league-leading 24th of the season. Santa Juana picked up the secondary assist on the goal. The Vees pushed back throughout the second period, but Owen Say stood tall repeatedly, keeping the Backs in the lead. Then, Tassy was up to his old tricks again in the third period. He picked the puck up off a faceoff win, danced his way into the slot and whipped a shot under the glove of Serhyenko for his second of the night and 25th of the season. Tassy was named the BCHL Second Star of the Month for December. He registered 13 points in the six games played. The Silverbacks took a two-goal lead into the third period despite getting outshot in the middle frame.

In the third period, with the two-goal lead in hand, the Silverbacks not only locked things down defensively, but they also continued to pour on offence. After some good puck work below the goal line by Tassy and Serdachny, Bourgault found himself wide open in the slot as he beat Serhyenko under the blocker to give the Backs a 4-1 lead. They weren’t done there seven minutes later; it was youngster Owen Beckner finding the back of the net, as he ripped it bar down for his second of the season, giving the backs a four-goal lead. The Vees did get one past Say late in the third on a powerplay, as Josh Nadeau beat Say glove side, cutting the lead to 5-2. That would be as close as the Vees come, and the Silverbacks handed the Vees their first regulation loss on home ice and improved to 12-0-1 on the road themselves. Owen Say turned aside 31 of 32 for his BCHL leading 17th win of the season.

The Silverbacks will have the weekend off and be back in action next weekend when they travel to Vernon and Merritt.