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Silverbacks Force OT Late But Are EdgeD 3-2 by Vees

Jack Barnes is turned aside by Ethan Langenegger during the second period of Friday night's game at the South Okanagan Events Centre (Cherie Morgan Photography).

Penticton, B.C. — Friday night proved to be a scrappy game between the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Penticton Vees, one that ended in a 3-2 overtime defeat for the Backs.

With the point, Salmon Arm remains in third place in the Interior Division, now two points up on Vernon with a 27-20-5 record. The Wenatchee Wild are in fifth place, now just three points behind Salmon Arm because they beat Surrey on Friday.

GAME SUMMARY

It didn’t take long for the Silverbacks to strike, opening the scoring just 2:10 in after Logan Shaw buried one from the slot off a pass from Coalson Wolford. Simon Tassy zipped a cross-ice pass to Wolford from the neutral zone before Wolford carried the puck wide down the left wing side into the zone and then fed the pass from the corner to Shaw, who beat Vees goaltender Yaniv Perets over the glove for the game’s first goal.

Earlier in the shift, Shaw lined up Penticton forward Jay O’Brient in the neutral zone for a big open ice hit.

Several minutes later, the Silverbacks were whistled for slashing and the Vees capitalized on the ensuing power play. Lukas Sillinger tied the game 1-1 after a pass from David Silye, who received a cross-ice feed from O’Brien.

After 20 minutes, the game was tied 1-1 and the shots 9-6 for Penticton.

Early in the second, the Vees took their first lead of the game thanks to a wrap-around on the backhand from O’Brien at the 3:26 mark. Just a few minutes later, Silverbacks goaltender Ethan Langenegger denied Jack Barnes with a huge left pad save after Barnes was able to win a puck race and cut to the net.

Things began to intensify as the period went on, with a couple off-setting minors handed out before the period ended. After 40 minutes, the score remained 2-1 Penticton.

The Vees tried to shut things down in the third period with a one-goal lead and did limit the Silverbacks’ number of chances, but the Backs stuck with it and got a clutch game-tying-goal from Will Poirier with 4:03 to go in regulation time. Good work below the goal line from Noah Wakeford and a pinch from Jeremy Gervais led to the goal, as Gervais moved up into the corner after Wakeford kept the play alive and gave the puck to Nick Unruh, who quickly fed a pass from down low to Poirier inside the right circle. Poirier buried his 20th of the season, firing a bullet to the top corner on the blocker side of Perets.

Both teams played it safe for the final four minutes and extra time was needed.

In the extra frame, the Vees had a quick chance early, but David Silye was stopped point blank by Langenegger. About thirty seconds later, the Vees outnumbered the Silverbacks around their crease after the puck nearly went the other way, and Danny Weight was able to knock the puck out of the year for the game-winner, just moments after being denied by the glove of Langenegger.

For the full boxscore, click here.

THEY SAID IT

“The point is huge at this time of the year. You’re never going to be upset about getting points when it’s this late in the season and you’re in the race that we’re in. I think it was a really good test today, it showed what playoffs are like and the emotions you’re going to go through. What we dealt with today was emotional highs and lows, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re staying even keel through those moments. That’s what I’m most proud about with our group. There was a lot that went on in that third period that could have derailed the game for us and we were able to battle through it, stay focused, eventual tie it up and earn that point. There’s nights you’re frustrated with only getting one point — tonight is a night, with how we battled it back and tied it up, that you’re pretty proud of the effort.” — Silverbacks assistant coach Carter Cochrane

TOP PERFORMERS

Will Poirier— Salmon Arm Silverbacks: Playing in his 300th career junior game, Poirier scored for the fourth straight contest and now has nine goals in his last 10.

Logan Shaw— Salmon Arm Silverbacks: Shaw’s ninth of the season was also his fifth goal in the last eight games. He has been a standout player for the Backs for the last couple weeks.

Ethan Langenegger— Salmon Arm Silverbacks: Langenegger made countless point-blank saves in this one, and finished with 33 saves on 36 shots overall. Langenegger has played the most of any goaltender in the BCHL this season, logging 2,338 minutes thus far.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Silverbacks don’t have any more games this weekend. Their next game is on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at home against the West Kelowna Warriors. All kids (K-8) get free admission to this one, so be sure to pick up your ticket at the Maximum Edge Hockey Shop prior to Wednesday or at the box office on game day!

All games this season can be heard on 91.5 EZ Rock with the pre-game shows starting half an hour before puck drop. Fans can also stream games on HockeyTV.