PHOTO: LISA MAZUREK PHOTOGRAPHY
Vernon, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks were not just firing on all cylinders on Saturday night — they also imposed their will physically on the Vernon Vipers and were rewarded with a 6-2 victory.
Salmon Arm’s record is now 8-5-3, just three points behind the first place Vipers, who are 10-5-2 and have also played one more game this pod season.
The score in this one was lopsided before the halfway point of the game, but it was actually the Vipers who opened the scoring.
Logan Lorenz netted a power play marker seven minutes into the first period after a nice pass from Ryan Shostak.
Salmon Arm responded extremely quickly, evening the score 1-1 just 42 seconds later, thanks to Tucker Hartmann.
Just over a minute after tying the game, the Silverbacks were whistled for another infraction and this time, instead of surrendering a goal, Drew Bennett scored a highlight reel shorthanded marker, dangling defenceman Sam Duerr and finishing top shelf on the backhand to make it 2-1.
The Backs would keep their foot on the gas for the remainder of the period, scoring twice more.
First, just 1:39 after Bennett’s tally, Braden Fischer knocked home a rebound to make the score 3-1, netting his first BCHL goal.
Then, with under a minute remaining in the period, Cameron Recchi would finish off a pretty passing play on the man advantage to make it 4-1.
In the second period, Simon Tassy added to the Backs lead when he came down the wing on a 3-on-2 rush and beat James Porter Jr. cleanly through the five hole.
Despite some fantastic goals thus far, Sullivan Mack saved the game’s most impressive goal until halfway through the second period.
First, he clobbered Luke Pakulak on the near-side boards in the offensive zone and stole the puck. Then he made his way to the middle of the ice and protected the puck on his backhand side, before quickly pivoting to the middle and moving to his forehand, where he was able to rip a shot cleanly past Porter Jr. to make it 6-1.
Although the Vipers got one back early in the third period to make it 6-2, this game was over long before.
Owen Say finished with 26 saves on 28 shots to get his sixth win of the pod season.
For the full boxscore from Saturday, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“We kind of flashed the potential of our group tonight. It’s been something that we’ve been building towards. It hasn’t been a straight line to get here and we’re by no means finished, but it’s a really good step in the right direction. It just shows the maturity and the next step we’re taking… I think our group kind of took it upon themselves, especially after last weekend, to just kind of say ‘enough is enough. We’re not going to be able to dictate the results all the time, but we can dictate how we can play.’ For 120 minutes now [against the Vipers], it’s very clear that we’re the most physical team and we’re imposing our way and our will on those guys. It was a huge step for our group to be able to do that.” – Assistant coach Carter Cochrane
SASCU 3 STARS
FORTIS BC ENERGY PLAYER OF THE GAME
Logan Lorenz – VER – 1G
There’s little rest for the Silverbacks, who play West Kelowna on Sunday at 4 p.m. With a win, they will be within a point of the first-place Vipers.
Fans can stream all games on BCHL TV!