Salmon Arm, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks came from behind to tie the game three times on Saturday night against the Vernon Vipers, but could never grab the lead and in the end fell 4-3 in overtime.
Although their Okanagan Cup record is now 1-4-1, Saturday’s performance was a big bounce back from Friday.
The Vipers were the first to get on the board in this one, opening the scoring 6:25 into the first period on a one-timer from Ethan Mercer.
The opening frame was mostly tight, with each team exchanging some good chances. With 1:47 remaining, 17-year-old Silverback forward Noah Serdachny tied the game at one after going to the net and directing home a pass from Danny Ciccarello for his first goal in the BCHL.
After 20 minutes, the score was 1-1, with the Vipers leading in shots on goal 14-9.
The Vipers capitalized on their first power play opportunity at the 2:03 mark of the second period to regain the lead, thanks to a perfectly placed shot right from slot courtesy of veteran Will Arquiett, after he took a nice pass from Reagan Milburn.
Just past the halfway mark of the game, Daniel Panetta would deposit his first in the BCHL to tie the game 2-2. Carter Loney saw Panetta making a beeline for the net on an odd-man rush and fed him a beautiful pass, which Panetta took in stride and finished on the forehand.
After 40 minutes, the game was still tied, with the Vipers leading Salmon Arm in shots on goal 26-20.
It only took 38 seconds after the puck was dropped for the third for the Vipers to go ahead again, this time after Kjell Kjemhus deflected a point shot from Griffen Barr past Liam Vanderkooi.
Once again, however, Salmon Arm would even the score, after Carter Loney fired a shot from a bad angle and then followed it up at the side of the net and whacked it just past the goal line. It was a weird one for Loney’s first in the BCHL, but it certainly counted.
Vernon ended up out-chancing the Silverbacks by a significant margin in the third period, but Vanderkooi — who was making his first career BCHL start — stood tall and each every time. The 17-year-old rookie stopped 13 of 14 shots thrown his way in the third period, helping the Backs force overtime.
The first good chance in OT ended up bringing the game to a close, after Jo-Jo Tanaka-Campbell scored on a backhand shot from the side of the goal, giving the Vipers the 4-3 overtime win.
For the full boxscore, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“I feel like we had a lot more resiliency to our game tonight. They scored first last night and it kind of felt like it took some steam out of us and when they scored first tonight, there was a lot more bounce back, a lot more energy on the bench and I think it just provided a lot more spark for our guys. I think you look at a couple of the younger guys – Mat Bourgault and Noah Serdachny, [they] just had a lot more jump and it was really good to see the guys play hard in front of Vandy in his first start.” Asst. Coach Carter Cochrane
SILVERBACK TOP PERFORMER
Liam Vanderkooi – 37 saves
“Vandy battled hard. He’s a young guy, he’s a big guy, he’s got a lot of growing into his body to do as the future comes along. We were really honest with him right when he got into camp and just said ‘Look, we want you to battle and earn your starts,’ and he’s just been one of our hardest working guys over the last couple weeks here. He gave us a lot of confidence to put him in the net tonight and the guys responded with a really good effort in front of him. To see his effort level in there and for him to be able to face that much rubber tonight and do a real good job of keeping the puck out of the net for the most part was really good to see from him.”
The Silverbacks are next in action this coming Friday on the road in Penticton to take on the Vees at 6 p.m. The two teams then will finish off the home-and-home on Saturday Oct. 24 at the Shaw Centre at 6:30 P.M.