West Kelowna, BC – For the second time this season it was the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (16-12-2-1) and the West Kelowna Warriors (17-10-4-0) squaring off at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna. The two teams met at the end of October in which West Kelowna took down Salmon Arm 7-1. The ‘Backs were coming off a 3-0 victory on Friday night over the Vernon Vipers, while the Warriors were coming off a 4-3 come from behind victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters.
Matthew Tovell (12-10-1-0, .921 S%, 2.82 GAA, 3 SO) got his third straight start for the Silverbacks, while Cayden Hamming (0-1-0-0, .906 S%, 3.43 GAA, 0 SO) got the nod for West Kelowna.
It was a fast paced first period in West Kelowna as both teams were eager to jump out to a quick start. The Silverbacks were looking to pounce early as they got up to an early lead on the shot count, as they got the first four shots on goal. The Warriors were able to strike first as Nic Porchetta (8) was able to notch his first as Warrior in just his second game. Just under a minute later it was Jaiden Moriello (17) deflecting one by Matthew Tovell to extend the Warriors lead to two goals. Salmon Arm fought back late in the period as Isaac Lambert (9) showed poise and patience to beat Cayden Hamming to cut the Warriors lead in half. Shots in the opening frame were 10-6 in favor of the Silverbacks.
The middle frame continued on with the intense pace as the Silverbacks continued to look for the equalizer. It was a back-and-fourth game as the period progressed but it was a goaltenders dual until the final minutes of the period. The Warriors were able to restore their two goal lead as they went to work on their second man-advantage in quick order. It was Luke Devlin (5) getting on the board with a shot that was deflected towards the net which put them out in front. Late in the period it was once again Ryan Gillespie (5) getting on the board for Salmon Arm as he got his second goal in as many games with just 24 second left in the period. Shots in the middle frame were 17-7 in favor of West Kelowna.
West Kelowna continued to build off of the momentum that they picked up in the middle frame as they came out of the gates in the third period with plenty of speed. Matthew Tovell looked sharp in the opening half of the period as the Warriors continued to pile up the shots. West Kelowna stayed with it as the period progressed and were able to restore their two goal lead late in the period. It was a powerplay marker from Ben MacDonald (11) which put the game out of reach for the Silverbacks. The Warriors added an empty netter from Jaiden Moriello (18) as he got his second of the game. While Jules Boilard (3) was able to add one late for the ‘Backs which cut the lead back to two goals, but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors took down the Silverbacks 5-3.
Next up for the Silverbacks will be a mid-week matchup in Wenatchee as the Silverbacks head south for the second time this season. Puck drop will be at 6:05PM from the Town Toyota Centre in Wenatchee.
Photo Courtesy of Chris Fowler