PHOTO: TAMI QUAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Vernon, B.C. — A late goal from Carter Wilkie gave the West Kelowna Warriors a 2-1 win on Saturday night over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at Kal Tire Place.
The Backs’ defeat drops them to 0-2 so far in the young season.
This contest was tight all the way through.
It began as a special teams affair, turned into a goaltending showdown and ended with three combined goals in the final 14 minutes.
Salmon Arm went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill in the first 15 minutes of the game. After one period, things were scoreless, with London, Ontario’s Owen Say stopping all 14 shots thrown his way for the Silverbacks.
The quality of chances picked up in the middle period, but both goaltenders — Say and West Kelowna’s Zach Bennett — stepped up time and again to keep the game deadlocked at zeros through 40.
Salmon Arm broke through on a power play six minutes into the third, courtesy Sullivan Mack’s wicked wrist shot from the top of the left circle.
Joaquim Lemay and Noah Serdachny drew assists on the game’s first goal.
With 6:31 to go in the game, the Warriors tied the game at one on a power play of their own, when Hamilton, Ontario’s Benjamin Woodhouse tapped home a cross-ice feed from Marcus Joughin.
Things appeared destined for a fourth period, but with 1:22 to go in the game, Carter Wilkie used a burst of speed to break down the right wing side, cut to the net and slip a shot past Say’s glove to make the score 2-1.
The Backs pulled Say for the extra attacker but were unable to tie the game, with the 2-1 score holding up as the final. Say finished the game with 36 saves on 38 shots, while Bennett made 31 saves on 32 shots. They were the second and third stars of the game respectively, while Wilkie was named the game’s first star.
For the full boxscore, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“They may have out-shot us, but I know we out-chanced them and we definitely created more high danger looks and were able to get pucks into the danger areas and create a lot more second opportunities than we did yesterday. So I think we took a step forward offensively today, which is hard to say when you only score one goal, but you can definitely feel it coming. I think we’re at a much better base than we were when the season paused in November. Guys have put a lot of work into building up our game and getting ourselves to this point. Unfortunately we don’t have the results to show for it yet. It’s a competitive group and you can feel the frustration on them already. It’s just a matter of making sure that we channel it the right way.” – Backs asst. coach Carter Cochrane
The Silverbacks have a rare few days off, with their next game action coming Wednesday. It will be the beginning of a four games in five days stretch. Both weekday games next week have 1 p.m start times.
Fans can stream all games on BCHL TV!