Salmon Arm, BC – It was once again a Saturday Night contest from the Shaw Centre as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (26-17-4-2) played host to the Wenatchee Wild (25-22-1-2) for the final of five regular season matchups between the two squads. The Wild had taken three of the first four meetings on the season, with two of the four games needing extra time. The Silverbacks were coming off a 5-2 loss to the Vernon Vipers, while the Wild were looking for their fourth straight victory after they dismantled the Merritt Centennials 13-0 on Friday night.
Matthew Tovell (21-15-3-2, 2.54 GAA, .922 S%, 4SO) got the start for the Silverbacks, while Andy Vlaha (14-12-1-0, 3.04 GAA, .901 S%) got the nod for the Wild.
The Wild brought over the momentum over from their big win over Merritt the night prior as they steered the first eight shots towards the Silverbacks net. Both teams earned themselves a powerplay opportunity in the first half of the period but were unable to capitalize. The Wild were able to get the scoring going just past the midway point of the period as Garrett Sydlowski (9) was able to beat Tovell to the glove side as he slid one over the shoulder to open the scoring. Each team earned one more man advantage in the period, but the penalty kill remained perfect. The Wild continued to clog the neutral zone as the period progressed and set themselves up for a solid road period. Shots in the period were 15-6 in favour of Wenatchee.
Wenatchee got things going quickly in the middle frame as Lucas Marshall (2) fired a shot from the blue-line that went off the back bar to beat Matthew Tovell and extend the Wild lead to two goals. The next ten minutes brought a collection of penalties as both teams started a parade to the penalty box. The two teams combined for twenty-two minutes of penalties in the period. The Silverbacks were able to take advantage of their time on the powerplay as CJ Foley (6) got the ‘Backs on the board with a shot from the blue line on their five-on-three advantage to pull them within one goal. Late in the period it was another powerplay marker for the ‘Backs as Casy Laylin (5) finished off a brilliant pass from Hayden Stavroff as he lifted one high and over the shoulder of Vlaha to get things knotted up a two a piece. Shots in the middle frame were 14-5 in favour of Salmon Arm.
The frantic pace continued in the third period of play from the Shaw Centre as the rivalry between the two teams continued to build up as the game progressed. Salmon Arm was looking to grab their first lead of the hockey game while the Wild looked poised to restore their lead. Both teams made one more trip to the penalty box in the final period, but it was the Silverbacks taking advantage of their own chances. Casy Laylin (6) was able to beat Vlaha for the second time of the contest with a shot from the high slot to give the ‘Backs the lead. Wenatchee pushed towards an equalizer in the final stages, but ultimately was not able to beat Tovell for a third time. The Silverbacks were able to steer home their lone lead of the game to a huge 3-2 victory over the Wild
Next up for the ‘Backs will be a road trip up North as they get set to take on the Prince George Spruce Kings. Puck drops at 7:00PM on Friday night from the Kopar Memorial Arena and you can catch all of the action on Hockey TV.
Photo by DAN SEABROOK/WORLD PHOTO – Recap Courtesy of TONY TROZZO