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Silverbacks take game one in overtime, 3-2

Salmon Arm, B.C. – The 2023/24 Fred Page Cup playoffs kicked off with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks holding home-ice advantage against the Merritt Centennials.

It was a feeling-out process for both teams in the first period. Neither could find the back of the net, even though there was a powerplay opportunity for the Silverbacks and the Centennials.

The offence woke up in the second period. Five minutes in, Michael Felsing goes for a centering pass in the slot which hits off a body in front and slides into the back of the net for the 1-0 Centennials lead. With seven minutes left, a defensive zone turnover at the end boards leads to a shot on by Jaxson Murray, which Felsing swoops in for the rebound for his second goal of the game, making it 2-0. Two minutes left in the middle frame, Maddux Martin gets a feed all alone in front of the net where he gets two chances and buried home the rebound to get the Silverbacks on the board, 2-1.

The Silverbacks were able to tie things up the third period. Four minutes into the final frame, Cole Cooksey unleashes a shot from the side of the net where Maddux Martin is in perfect position to hammer home the rebound for his second of the game, tying things up 2-2. Neither team could find the back of the net again and game one needed overtime.

Five-on-five continuous overtime did not last long. Less than three minutes into extra time, Adam Boatter collects the puck at the point and flutters one on net where it bounces off the goalie, Andrew Ballentyne and falls into the back of the net to win it for the Silverbacks 3-2.

In the win, Eli Pulver made 27/29 saves to give the Silverbacks the 1-0 series lead.