Salmon Arm- The Penticton Vees scored three unanswered goals in the third period, to snatch a 6-4 victory from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at the Shaw Centre.
In the opening frame, the visiting Vees were carrying the play, but Silverbacks goaltender Owen Say was sharp early on, stopping 14/15 in the first. His best save coming on Bradley Nadeau going post to post to rob him with the right pad. In the middle of the period, a scary moment was when Thomas Pichette hit Silverbacks forward Mat Bourgault in the numbers, and his face smashed into the dasher, drawing blood. Bourgault did not return to the game. Pichette was assessed a two-minute blow to the head penalty and a ten-minute misconduct. It looked like the first period would remain scoreless, but Vees forward Josh Nadeau had other ideas. He picked the puck up at the Backs’ bench and beat Say short side to make it 1-0. But the Silverbacks answered just 32 seconds later. Captain Daniel Panetta feathered a beautiful pass springing, Brandon Santa Juana, in alone, and he slipped it five-hole on Vees goaltender Kaeden Lane, his third of the preseason, to tie it at one apiece. Penticton outshot Salmon Arm 15-7 in the opening frame.
In the second period, the Backs’ got on the board just :12 in, when Simon Tassy knocked a puck down in the slot and threw it at the net; luckily for the Silverbacks, the puck hit a Vees defender and past Lane to make it 2-1. The Backs’ then got a powerplay to try and extend their lead, but the Vees actually found the scoresheet on a tricky bounce. Casey McDonald was a recipient of a friendly bounce off the end boards, as the puck bounced right to him off a Jackson Nieuwendyk shot, and Say could not get back into position, tying the game at two. The Silverbacks regained the lead again when Noah Serdachny forced a turnover at the red line and created an odd-man rush with Tassy. Serdachny fed Tassy backdoor, beating Lane over the left pad to make it 3-2. But as the Backs’ did in the first… the Vees were quick to respond. After a barrage of saves from Say, it was McDonald again off the draw snapping a puck under the arm of Say, tying it again, this time at three. Penticton outshot Salmon Arm 14-8 in the second period for a two-period total of 29-15.
In the final frame, it was another hot start for the Silverbacks. Only 3:23 into the period, Simon Tassy cut into the slot and backhanded a shot past Lane for the hat trick and a 4-3 lead. The goal was his 5th of the preseason, looking already in mid-season form. But that is the last lead the Silverbacks would hold. As just 18 seconds later, the Vees tied it on a strange bounce where the puck went high into the air and landed in the crease for an easy tap-in for Ethan Mann. Two minutes later, Thomas Pichette backhanded a rolling puck past Say to give Penticton the lead. Then late in the third, it was Nieuwendyk on the powerplay, ripping one under the glove on Say to double their lead. Nieuwendyk had a goal and two assists in the contest.
With the loss, the Backs’ fall to 3-2 on the preseason, while the Vees remain a perfect 4-0. The two teams will meet again tomorrow as they wrap up the preseason in Penticton. Puck drop is set for 6:00 PM. You can catch the game on Hockey TV.