After two straight losses, the pressure is now on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
The Shuswap squad won Game 1 in Vernon, but dropped Games 2 and 3 by 2-1 finals in overtime. Salmon Arm plays at home Wednesday night taking on the Vernon side who has been able to shut things down defensively in the last two and a half games. Aidan Porter surrendered four goals on 15 shots in the first game, but in the last two games has allowed just two goals combined and the team in front of him has made things easier allowing a total of 56 shots in games that both involved overtime, while putting up 76 of their own.
Justin Wilson scored the lone tally for Salmon Arm after he was setup in front of the goal from Hudson Schandor who was swinging behind the net. With the assist, Schandor is the lone Silverback to score at least a point in all three games this series.
Jack Judson scored in regulation for Vernon on a point shot while on the power play. In overtime, a shot from Matt Kowalski was kicked out, and rebound was batted in by Ben Sanderson for his first point of the playoffs. Vernon is sending another fan bus to Game 4, so a solid cheering section is again expected for the visiting side.
Two wins in a row have Vernon with a momentum, and Salmon Arm needs to steal that back with a victory at home. Going down 3-1 in the series would make a comeback very difficult, so a 2-2 series moving back to Vernon is what the Backs will be aiming for.
Tickets in the box office can be purchased 9am-game time. With a Silverbacks win, Game 6 would be guaranteed, and tickets for that will go on sale Thursday morning in the Shaw Centre box office.
Players to Watch:
Silverbacks: With points in all three games, Hudson Schandor now has a seven game point streak dating back to the regular season. The second year had points in four games straight being sustaining an injury against the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Goalless in three games, Salmon Arm needs their regular season leading goal scorers Matthew Verboon and Nick Unruh to hit the scoresheet Wednesday. Unruh had two assists in Game 1, but hasn’t had a point since, while Verboon has zero points in the three games. The Vernon Vipers are doing a great job of shutting the two down, and getting under their skin after every whistle.
Vipers: The combination of Jesse Lansdell and Jagger Williamson continue to stir the offensive drink for Vernon. Both players have been involved in all five regulation goals the team has scored. They haven’t struck in overtime, but have had their fair share of chances. On a line with Logan Cash, the two veterans are showing off their combined 69 playoff games. On the back end, Michael Young has hit two posts, and had shots blocked a number of times. With three goals against Salmon Arm in the regular season, he is a major threat from the blue line.
Around the League:
Monday night Salmon Arm and Vernon were the only Interior teams playing. Tonight, all four series are a go. West Kelowna hosts Wenatchee who lead 2-1 in the series, the Merritt Centennials will look to even their playoff series at 2-2 in Trail taking on the Smoke Eaters, and the Penticton Vees play in Duncan against the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Penticton is down 2-1 in their series after falling in overtime last night. Over on the Island, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs down 3-0 in their series will look to avoid a sweep against the Victoria Grizzlies.
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