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Silverbacks advance, 4-1 series win over West Kelowna

(Photo credit: Tami Quan)

Salmon Arm, B.C. – The Salmon Arm Silverbacks headed back to West Kelowna with the first opportunity to win the series against the Warriors.

The Silverbacks jump out to the first-period lead in game 5. Ten minutes in, Casy Laylin wins a puck battle at the end boards and finds Tanner Walos alone in the slot who snaps one by Matthew DellaRusso for the 1-0 lead. A minute later, Nathan Mackie gets called for an illegal hit to the head minor, sending the Warriors on their first powerplay of the game. Wasting no time, ten seconds into the man advantage, Felix Caron hammers home a one-timer to tie the game, 1-1. With the time starting to wind down in the opening frame, Walos perfectly snipes a corner from the high slot for his second goal of the game and giving the Silverbacks the 2-1 lead after the first period.

The offense stayed active and aggressive for the Silverbacks in the second period. Jack Farrell gets hauled off to the box for an interference penalty at the 6:16 mark, giving the Silverbacks a chance on the powerplay. JJ Monteiro toe drags in the slot and then feeds Patrick Raftery for the one-timer rocket into the net, the powerplay goal makes it 3-1. Less than a minute later, an unlucky bounce sees the centering feed by Casy Laylin hit off the stick of Jackson Kyrkostas and flutter over the shoulder of his goalie, with Laylin getting credit for his first goal of the playoffs. With three minutes left in the middle frame, Ryan Philbrick sends a dead-eye pass onto the tape of Laylin right in front of the net for the easy redirect goal, Laylins second of the period.

Holding onto the big lead in the third period as both teams trade a goal. Looking to ice the game away and crush any comeback efforts early, JJ Monteiro in the first two minutes screens the goalie and gets his stick on the puck for a tip-in goal, making it 6-1. With the game all but over, Nathaniel Davis takes a roughing penalty in the final two minutes. Isaiah Norlin picks up the puck at the blue line and wires home the powerplay goal with a minute left to bring the game to 6-2.

Eli Pulver stops 35/37 to clinch the series win for the Silverbacks, 4-1. The Silverbacks advance to the Interior Conference finals to face the Penticton Vees for the second year in a row.

(Photo credit: Tami Quan)