PHOTO: TAMI QUAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Vernon, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks had one of their most consistent efforts of the season on Wednesday night against the West Kelowna Warriors, defeating them 5-2 to improve to 6-3-3 this season.
The Backs have now beaten the Warriors in five straight, whose record drops to 5-4-2.
The Silverbacks sure didn’t look like a club playing their sixth game in eight days.
While the Warriors did have a better opening five minutes, out-shooting the Backs 6-2 early on, Salmon Arm fended them off thanks to solid goaltending from rookie Liam Vanderkooi.
Just past the halfway mark of the first period, the Silverbacks top line cashed in, after a cross-ice feed from Simon Tassy went off a Warriors stick and unintentionally into their own goal.
By the end of the first period, the Backs had a 1-0 lead and had taken the momentum back, out-shooting the Warriors 15-9.
Early in the second, Tassy was it again, after Noah Serdachny sent a flip pass ahead for him at the end of a long shift. Tassy was able to settle down the bouncing back, cut his way to the net, and avoid Johnny Derrick’s poke check to tuck home a goal on the forehand.
The goal was Tassy’s ninth of the season, with all nine coming against the Warriors.
West Kelowna responded just 1:13 later on a power play goal from Carter Wilkie, but there was no panic from the Silverbacks.
Following a couple consecutive offensive zone shifts, the Backs scored right off a face-off, after Joaquim Lemay worked his way down the wall past forward Cameron Hicklin and then fed a rink wide pass that hit Philippe Jacques and landed on the stick of Tucker Hartmann. Hartmann quickly wristed a shot on goal that made the score 3-1.
Four minutes after that, Silverbacks defenceman Kieran Ruscheinski sprung Drew Bennett on a semi-breakaway. After the stick of pursuing defenceman Skylar Cameron forced Bennett to turn away from the net, Bennett centered a pass for Recchi, who beat Derrick to make it 4-1.
Tyler Cristall would get West Kelowna back to within two with a power play goal 4:56 into the third, but after that there weren’t many Warriors chances. In fact, they only managed six shots on goal in the entire third period.
Just in case there was any doubt, the Backs top line combined for an empty-net goal with 32 seconds remaining, after Tassy passed to Serdachny, who found an open Sullivan Mack in front. Mack made no mistake for his eighth goal of the pod season.
In the end, the Backs trio of Mack, Serdachny and Tassy combined for eight points. That means they have now recorded 37 points in six games against the Warriors.
Vanderkooi finished his impressive night with 26 stops on 28 shots for his second career BCHL win.
For the full boxscore from Wednesday’s game, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“We were able to do a lot of same things we did last game and with a lot more success tonight. It’s a credit to them, being able to do it with their sixth game in eight nights. It definitely didn’t look it at all tonight. That was probably our most consistent 60-minute effort of the pod…It was a total team effort and that’s what we needed. It’s one of those games that you can really look back on and hopefully say “that’s where we kind of put it all together” and we’re really able to build some momentum. I know we want to clean up the special teams a little bit, but those come in waves. It’s only going to get harder to score on special teams and at 5-on-5, but particularly 5-on-5, and if we’re continuing to be solid defensively 5-on-5 and we’re able to produce offensively 5-on-5, then we’re taking a lot of the variability out of the game.”
SASCU 3 STARS
FORTIS BC ENERGY PLAYER OF THE GAME
Daniel Panetta – SA
The Silverbacks finally have two days in a row off and will get back to it this weekend, with games on Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. PDT.
Fans can stream all games on BCHL TV!