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GAME FIVE: Silverbacks magical run comes to an end, Vees move on to Fred Page Cup Finals

Penticton, BC – The series switched over to Penticton for game five following an overtime thriller on Wednesday night at the Shaw Centre. Salmon Arm was able to force game five following a 3-2 victory. With the win, the Silverbacks ended the Vees 27 game win streak in the playoffs dating back to March 31st, 2022. The Coastal Conference winning Alberni Valley Bulldogs await the winner of this series for the final entry into the bracket for the Fred Page Cup Finals.

Matthew Tovell (9-2-2, 2.65 GAA, .914 S%, 0SO) got the start for the ‘Backs, while Luca Di Pasquo (11-1-0, 1.65 GAA, .936 S%, 1SO) got the nod for the Vees.

The Silverbacks started off the first period with quick pace and good momentum. The starts from the South Okanagan Events Centre had not been friendly to the ‘Backs in games one and two as the Vees got on the board within the first minute and a half during both of those occasions. Matthew Tovell continued to look sharp in the opening frame as he was attacked with a flury of shots from the Vees. Tovell came into the game as the Twin Anchors Houseboats Player to Watch. Midway through the period, Nic Degraves went to the box for four-minutes as he took a double-minor for high-sticking as he got Hayden Stavroff up high. Salmon Arm went to work on the ensuing man-advantage with momentum building as they fired five shots towards the net of Luca Di Pasquo but he was able to steer them all aside. Neither team was able to find the back of the net during the opening frame, as shots finished 9-9 through the first twenty minutes.

Penticton grabbed the opening goal of the contest just six seconds into the middle frame as the league’s stop goal scorer, Bradly Nadeau (16) took the puck off the opening faceoff in the period into the ‘Backs end before he buried one over the shoulder of Tovell to give the Vees the one goal lead. That was a start of activity to come for Penticton in the middle frame. Just under six minutes into the period, it was Aydar Suniev (6) slipping one by Tovell to double up on the Vees lead. Salmon Arm went to the powerplay for the second time of the game quickly after the Vees added to their lead, but Penticton was able to kill of the minor penalty to Billy Norcross. Following the conclusion of the ‘Backs chance with an extra-man, the Vees got another chance as Brandon Santa Juana went to the box for high-sticking. Penticton made quick work with the man-advantage as Bradly Nadeau (17) banged home a one-timer from brother Josh to give the Vees a three goal-advantage. Just past the midway point of the period, CJ Foley (4) scored a very interesting goal as he proplled the puck into Penticton’s end from centre ice that bounced in front of Di Pasquo and beat him cleanly. The Vees were able to restore their three goal lead three minutes after Foley got on the board as Aydar Suniev (7) doubled up in the period with his second of the hockey game. Shots finished 17-6 in favour of Penticton in the middle frame,

Penticton was able to carry on the momentum that they had earned in the middle frame as they quickly went to the attack to start the third period. The Vees were able to get two goals within 17 seconds of each other just past the six minute mark of the period. Billy Norcross (1) was able to tap home the bouncing-ball of a puck in front of the ‘Backs net to give the Vees the four goal lead. Shortly after it was the brother-connection once again for the Vees as Bradly Nadeau found brother Josh Nadeau (11) streaking towards the front of the net before he deflected it home to give Penticton the 6-1 lead. The Silverbacks coninued to showcase their willingness to battle to the final whistle once again as Maddux Martin (4) and his tenacious forecheck paid off as he got one by Di Pasquo on a rebound play. That was the first of three unaswered goals for the ‘Backs as Maddux Martin (5) doubled up just four minutes later and Isaac Lambert (7) got the Silverbacks within two as he buried his second in as many nights. Vees Captain, Frank Djurasevic (2) added an empty netter to seal the deal for Penticton as they took game five 7-4.

Photo by CHRIS FOWLER – Recap Courtesy of TONY TROZZO