It was bounce back after bounce back for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Facing a Penticton Vees side that iced just 17 skaters, Salmon Arm was able to come away with a 3-2 win in the shootout.
The visitors got off to a good start in the Shaw Centre as team leading goal scorer Ryan Sandelin picked up a rebound to the left side of the net, and lifted the puck in just 17 seconds after the opening whistle. Matthew Verboon responded three minutes later on the Silverbacks first and last power play of the game. On another rebound goal, the rookie forward took over the team lead in scoring with his seventh of the year.
The Silverbacks allowed 11 power play goals last year against the Vees, and had to kill off a key one late in the period. They would kill that one off, and four more in the game going a perfect one for one on the power play and five for five on the penalty kill.
In the second, the Vees heavily outshot Salmon Arm 18-5, and had a 2-1 lead to show for it. Rookie defenceman Jack Lagerstrom pinched up the right wall, and slapped a perfect shot into the top right corner. One minute later the Silverbacks took a double minor for tripping, but killed off the four minute penalty kill.
Salmon Arm continued to push in the third period, and it was a slow start with Penticton appearing happy to chip the puck out of their zone defensively, and chip n chase offensively. A goal four minutes in though changed the pace, and most importantly got the monkey off the back of Nick Unruh.
Noah Wakeford started the play lifting the puck into the right corner and chasing after it himself. Beating two Vees to the puck, he worked it behind the net and eventually out front to Unruh. Held scoreless in the first 10 games of the season, the Alberta product was able to find the back of the net tying the game at two.
In overtime as expected, both sides traded chances, but neither were able to win during the five minute three on three.
That would send the game to a shootout which was the first for both teams this season. Salmon Arm scored on all three of their shots, while the Vees scored just twice. Nick Unruh scored on the backhand while Akito Hirose and Matthew Verboon both went top right corner.
The two points for Salmon Arm gives them 13 on the season. They are tied with Penticton, but ahead in the head to head tie breaker.
Nick Unruh – The coaches had said all season they liked the way Unruh was playing, and he was rewarded with a goal to tie the game, and a goal in the shootout to help his team win it. The sophmore forward hasn’t had much puck puck to start the season, but this was just the game he needed to potentially break out going forward.
Ethan Langenegger – Keeps his team in every game. Simple but true for the rookie netminder. He stopped 39 of 41 shots in play, and stopped one shooter in the shootout which was all his side needed for the W.