Prince George, BC – It was game three on Tuesday night between the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Prince George Spruce Kings as the best-of-seven series switched gears over to Prince George. The Silverbacks took the first two games of the series at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm, outscoring the Spruce Kings 8-4 over the weekend. Salmon Arm was looking to push Prince George to the brink of elimination while the Space Kings were hoping to pull the series within one win.
Matthew Tovell (2-0-0-0, 2.00 GAA, .931 S%, 0 SO) got the start for the Silverbacks, while Aidan Fedemma (0-0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, .000 S%, 0 SO) got his first start of the series
The Spruce Kings came out to a quick start in front of their home crowd as they looked to earn the momentum in the early stages of their first home post-season game. Ryan Gillespie went to the box just 90 seconds in to give the Spruce Kings the games first powerplay. Prince George was able to muster four shots towards the Silverbacks net, but Matthew Tovell stayed sharp to keep the game scoreless. The game saw its opening goal just over five minutes in as Nathan Mackie made a great play at the blue line to poke the puck by the Spruce Kings defence to give Salmon Arm a two on one. On the ensuing rush, it was Hayden Stavroff (2) deflecting one by Fedemma to give the Silverbacks the lead. Shortly after the opening goal it was Salmon Arm continuing to apply the pressure as they looked for more. Owen Beckner (1) was able to deflect home a brilliant pass from Tristan Allen to beat Fedemma and extend the Silverbacks lead to two goal before the midway point of the period. Late in the period, it was Isaac Lambert going to the box for a double-minor high sticking call as he caught Jack Stockfish up high. Late in the powerplay, John Herrington (2) was able to pounce on a rebound and tap one by Tovell to get Prince George on the board. Shots in the period were 9-8 in favour of Salmon Arm.
The middle frame was once again one to remember for the Silverbacks as they found a way to have their offence explode on the Spruce Kings. The period started off with a bang as Isaac Lambert and Scott Cousins dropped the gloves to get the benches going. Salmon Arm went to their first powerplay of the game just moments later as Amran Bhabra took a two minute tripping call. On the ensuing man advantage, it was Nathan Mackie (1) getting his third point of the hockey game and his first goal of the post-season just over eight minutes into the middle frame as he beat Fedemma to restore the Silverbacks two goal lead. Just 20 seconds later it was Hayden Stavroff (3) ripping one over the glove of Fedemma as that was the end of his evening. The offensive outburst continued as just 40 seconds later it was Maddux Martin (1) slipping one by Fairlie to extend the Silverbacks lead to four goals. Prince George seemed to turn the momentum around following the media timeout as they came back firing towards Salmon Arm. Late in the period, it was Charlie Banquier (1) getting one by Tovell with a shot from the blue line to pull Prince George within three goals. That was the last entry into the scoresheet in the period as shots in the period were 11-7 in favour of Prince George.
The final period of play was a different look to which we saw in the opening forty as it seemed that the Silverbacks were just looking to steer home the game three victory. Ben LeFranc went to the box just over three minutes into the period as he took a tripping call. The Silverbacks powerplay went quickly to work as they continued to show poise on the powerplay. Nathan Mackie (2) notched his fifth point of the game following a brilliant display of puck movement with the extra attacker. Both teams went to the penalty box in the late stages of the period, but neither team capitalized on their final chances. The Silverbacks took this one by a 6-2 final to push Prince George to the brink of elimination.
Next up for the Silverbacks will be game four of the Interior Conference Quarter finals as the Kopar Memorial Arena will play host to the two teams on Wednesday night. Puck drops at 7:00PM!
Photo by VICKI BROWN – Recap Courtesy of TONY TROZZO