PHOTO: CHERIE MORGAN PHOTOGAPHY
Salmon Arm, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks came up just short on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre against the Penticton Vees, falling 3-2 in regulation on a late goal from Jackson Niedermayer.
This was by far the team’s best effort thus far in the Okanagan Cup, however their record now drops to 1-5-1, while the Vees improve to 9-0.
For just the second time so far in the Okanagan Cup, the Silverbacks found the game’s first goal, and it didn’t take long.
Just over six minutes in, a bad pass from the Vees in their own zone landed right on the stick of Silverback forward Mathieu Bourgault in the slot, who quickly fired it blocker side past Yaniv Perets for his first tally in the BCHL.
The reminder of the period remained tight, with the Vees holding a slight edge in shots on goal at 9-7, but found themselves trailing the Backs 1-0 at the first intermission.
Penticton scored twice within a 48 second span early in the second to take the lead – first Finn Williams on a tap-in off a face-off and then Jacob Quillan off a shot from the right circle.
Just over four minutes later, however, the Silverbacks would take advantage of their second power play opportunity to even the score. After Carter Loney held the puck in the offensive zone three consecutive times, Simon Tassy chipped a pass cross-ice to the right point to Joaquim Lemay, who fired a high shot on goal that bounced off Perets’ shoulder and landed in front, where Drew Bennett was able to out-battle Ethan Martini for the loose puck and shovel it home.
The Vees began to generate more offensive zone time as the second period wore on, but each chance they got was turned away by Backs goaltender Riley Kohonick.
After 40 minutes, he score remained 2-2, with the Vees holding a 16-11 edge in shots on goal.
The third period had some solid back and forth action, with both goalies making key saves to keep the score at a 2-2 deadlock.
With 2:57 to go in the game, Jackson Niedermayer fired home a pass from Quinn Hutson to give the Vees a 3-2 edge.
With just 1:49 left in the third, Niedermayer made an ill-advised high open ice hit on Bourgault that resulted in a five-minute major, but because the Silverbacks were handed a two-minute retaliatory penalty for coming to Bourgault’s aid and there was under two minutes left, there was no power play. While the Backs pulled Kohonick for the extra attacker to make it 5-on-4, the couple chances they managed were stopped by Perets, and the 3-2 score held up as the final.
For the full boxscore, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“From watching them in our pre-scout and comparing it to what we saw today, we forced them to dump a lot more pucks, we forced them to have to go forecheck and we did that where we had number support every time we went back into our zone. We were able to create those 3-on-3 types of puck retrievals, where our D did a good job, for the most part, of creating tie ups and allowing our support to get back and we outnumbered them well in those transition opportunities and we were able to get the puck back. The shot totals skewed a little bit in the third period with their power plays, but it was a very close game and it kind of shows the progress we’ve made over the last couple weeks here.” Asst. Coach Carter Cochrane
SILVERBACK TOP PERFORMER
“He’s a guy with so much potential and so much skill, but the transition is extremely difficult in this league, whether you’re 17 or you’re seeing it with 19 and 20-year-olds with their first time in the league as well. But that goal is something that’s going to give him a lot of confidence. Even throughout the game, his foot were moving a ton, he just seemed to be much more involved in the game. It’s great to see from him.”
The Silverbacks and Vees will finish off the home-and-home on Saturday Oct. 24 at the Shaw Centre at 6:30 P.M.