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GAME FOUR: Silverbacks explode for seven goals, push Vipers to the brink of elimination

Vernon, BC – It was the second game in as many nights at Kal Tire place as the two teams were getting right back into action following game three which went to double-overtime the night prior. The Silverbacks took a 2-1 series lead into game four as they had won the past two games after dropping game one at home. It had been a similar storyline in games one through three of the series as Salmon Arm took a multi-goal lead into the final frame into all three games. Will Lavigne was the player to watch in game four as he played hero in game four with the double overtime winner.

Matthew Tovell (6-0-1, 1.83 GAA, .934 S%, S SO) got the start for the Silverbacks, while Ethan David (5-1-1, 1.95 GAA, .926 S%) got the nod for the Vipers.

Salmon Arm had a first period to remember as it was all Silverbacks in the opening frame. The first half of the period was the most fast paced start we had seen in the series as both teams seemed energized regardless of game three ending less than 20 hours prior. It was a tenacious forecheck from Isaac Lambert that got the ‘Backs their momentum as he laid a huge hit in behind the Vipers net which led to the first goal of the hockey game. Tristan Allen (1) let fly from the line as he lifted one by David to open the scoring. Just 20 seconds later, it was Brandon Santa Juana (3) working a give and go with Reid Varkonyi before sliding one by David to double up the ‘Backs lead. That was the end of the night for David as he was pulled after allowing 2 goals on 6 shots. The offensive first period did not end there as Isaac Lambert (3) continued his roll as he trickled one by Roan Clarke to give the ‘Backs a three goal lead. The first period finished with a power outage as with just 1:19 left in the period, the arena went dark. This sparked a 25 minute delay in the hockey game. Shots in the period were 16-5 in favour of Salmon Arm.

The middle frame was a much different flow to which we saw in the opening frame as Vernon was able to restore momentum in the early moments of the period. Salmon Arm got into penalty trouble midway through the period as Tristan Allen and Liam Steele both sat for two minutes. The Vipers were able to get on the board with their first powerplay goal of the series when Julian Faccinhelli (2) was able to bang home a rebound to make it a two goal game. Shortly after that, it was Isaac Tremblay (3) sliding one by Tovell to make it a one goal hockey game. The ‘Backs responded quickly to the second Vipers goal as Raoul Boilard (1) put one into the back of Clarke’s net following a great shift with his linemates of Maddux Martin and Casy Laylin. The back and forth period continued as Vernon responded late in the period when Walker Erickson (2) potted one by Tovell to make it a one goal game heading into the third. Shots in the period were 20-6 in favour of Vernon.

Salmon Arm was able to restore the momentum that they earned in the first period with another offensive explosion. It was Cj Foley (3) continuing his strong post-season as he took the puck into the offesnive zone and lifted a seeing eye wrist shot from the slot to beat Clarke to restore the ‘Backs two goal lead. That was just the start of the solid third period for the Silverbacks as they went to the man-advantage for the first time in the hockey game when Reagan Millburn took a double minor high-sticking call on Ethan Ullrick. On the ensuing four minute powerplay, the ‘Backs striked twice. Casy Laylin (2) was the recipient of a perfect seem pass from Hayden Stavroff as he made no mistake on the one-timer as he lifted one by Clarke to give the ‘Backs a three goal lead. Just over thirty second later, Nathan Mackie (6) was able to bat home a rebound following a Owen Beckner shot that clanked off the crossbar. Salmon Arm continued their strong play in the third as they steered home a big 7-3 victory.

Next up for the ‘Backs will be game five back at the Shaw Centre. All kids 15 and under will get in free thanks to our friends at Shuswap National. Puck drops at 7:00PM.

Photo by LISA MAZUREK – Recap Courtesy of TONY TROZZO