Salmon Arm, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks defeated the Victoria Grizzlies 3-2 on Tuesday night to sweep their opening round playoff series.
Kieran Ruscheinski had the game-winning-goal mid-way through the third period on an odd-man rush — his first career BCHL goal.
For the first time since game one, the Victoria Grizzlies opened the scoring, getting on the board just past the halfway mark of the period courtesy of Henri Schreifels, after a pass in front by Cody Monds.
Even though the Silverbacks weren’t able to generate very much offence in the first period, they broke through and tied the game in the dying seconds. Luke Mylymok continued his hot play, scoring his fourth goal in four games, starting from his own zone by blocking a shot and finishing at the other end on a wrap-around. His goal was incredibly clutch, evening the score with just 2.3 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
Salmon Arm came out with renewed energy in the second, taking the lead 2:51 in after Sam Schofield spotted Logan Shaw all alone in front, who banged home his second tally in two games.
The Backs out-shot the Grizzlies 13-7 in the second and took their 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
Just over seven minutes into the third period, the Backs took advantage of an odd-man rush led by Ruscheinski, who passed to his right to Daniel Rybarik and then got a return feed that gave him a clear path to the net. Ruscheinski was able to backhand home a shot to increase the Silverback lead to two. When he scored, Ruscheinski made contact with goaltender Liam Souliere and though the goal held up, he was handed a minor penalty for goaltender interference.
On the ensuing power play, the Grizzlies got back to within one courtesy of captain Marty Westhaver, who potted home a rebound in front It was Victoria’s first power play goal of the series.
With under seven minutes remaining in the third, Salmon Arm was whistled for cross-checking and had to kill off a crucial penalty. They were able to do so and then held off the next wave when the Grizzlies pulled the goaltender to try to tie the game.
Backs goaltender Ethan Langenegger finished with 25 saves on 27 shots and finished the series with all four wins and a .957 save percentage.
For the full boxscore, click here.
The Silverbacks will now await their second round opponent. While the Trail Smoke Eaters also advanced, the West Kelowna Warriors are still alive against the Penticton Vees, trailing that series 3-1.
Check back here and our social media channels for the second round playoff schedule, which will be released very soon.