WEST KELOWNA, BC: Riley Sharun’s second-period marker stood up to be the game-winner as the West Kelowna Warriors defeated the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 4-1 in Game 3 to take a 3-0 series lead.
In Game 3, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks got off to a terrific start. Ethan Ullrick forced a turnover at the West Kelowna blue line, and he freed up Captain Daniel Panetta for a breakaway. He made no mistake beating Warriors goaltender Johnny Derrick blocker side to open the scoring 59 seconds into the game. The Silverbacks then got a powerplay when Charles-Alexis Legault got called for his first of two interference penalties. On the man advantage, the Backs had chances from Panetta and Noah Serdachny, but the score stayed 1-0. Shortly after the powerplay, the Warriors took advantage of a Lucas Matta turnover, and just like in Game 2, it was Elan Bar-Lev-Wise capitalizing on a 2 on 1 with Felix Trudeau, tying the game at one. Both teams had powerplay opportunities but were both unsuccessful. There was a scary moment in the opening frame aa Tyler Rubin hit Simon Tassy hard into the boards. Tassy stayed down for quite some time and was helped to the dressing room with the help of trainer Les Cleverly. Tassy returned for one shift and didn’t return for the rest of the period. The Backs next big opportunity to take the lead back was off the stick of Brandon Santa Juana, but he was robbed by a diving Derrick, keeping the game tied at one. The opening frame was pretty even throughout as the shots were 15-15.
Tassy came out to start the middle frame but quickly left the ice ending his night. The Warriors took the lead after Isaac Lambert could not get the puck out of the defensive zone. Tyler Cristall was able to find Riley Sharun in front, and he slid it past Say for a 2-1 advantage. The Warriors thought they had a 3-1 lead when Say made a save near the goal line, but it was waived off after the refs huddled up. Moments later, Cristall shot one off the post. It was called a goal on the ice but was waived off after the ref discussion. The wild events didn’t stop there. The referee was talking to Warriors Head Coach Simon Ferguson, and while that was going on, the puck was dropped, and Felix Trudeau picked up the puck and beat Owen Say blocker side for a two-goal lead. The Warriors outshot the Backs 15-9 in the second period.
The Silverbacks only directed six shots on the net in the third period. They did, though, have some good opportunities with those shots. Santa Juana again had a clean look, as did Tucker Hartmann, but they were both denied. You have to give Johnny Derrick some credit in this series; he was terrific again tonight, stopping 29 of 30 and lifting his save % to .938. The Silverbacks had some looks with Say on the bench but could not solve Derrick. The Warriors added a late empty-net goal with 26 seconds left to make it 4-1. The Silverbacks backs are now against the wall as they trail 3-0 in the series. Game 4 will go Wednesday night in West Kelowna. Puck drop is 7:00 PM.