Salmon Arm, B.C. — Wednesday night was the Simon Tassy show at the Shaw Centre, as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks rookie forward notched a hat-trick and added an assist in a massive 6-2 victory over the West Kelowna Warriors.
With the win, Salmon Arm remains in third place in the Interior Division, now two points up on Vernon with a 28-20-5 record. The Wenatchee Wild are in fifth place, three points behind Salmon Arm. All three teams have five games remaining.
The Silverbacks are now 5-0-1 in their last six games.
There was only one goal scored in the first period and it came off the stick of Will Poirier, who continued his hot play with his 10th goal in his last 11 games. It was his 21st tally of the season, as the Quebec native knocked home a loose puck out front after Noah Wakeford centered the puck quickly from behind the net.
That was all the action from the first, with the Silverbacks taking their one-goal lead into the break, along with a 10-6 edge in shots on goal.
The second period began with a flurry of goals.
First, the Warriors tied the game after killing off a penalty, when defenceman Nicholas Ardanaz stole the puck from goaltender Grant Adams, who came out of his net to play the puck. Just 14 seconds after the Warriors evened the score, Simon Tassy responded for the Silverbacks, sprinting into the offensive zone and firing a puck past Riley Morgan through the five hole.
Under two minutes after going up 2-1, the Silverbacks doubled their lead, this time off the stick of Lucas Breault, who finished off a 2-on-1 with Drew Bennett by placing the puck perfectly to the top corner.
West Kelowna cut the lead back down to one off a lucky bounce, when Brendan Pigeon through a pass towards the slot in the air, a pass that hit a Silverback defender and unintentionally went into the goal.
Although no goals were scored in the remainder of the second period, the Silverbacks controlled the play and limited the Warriors offence. After two periods, the Backs had a 23-14 lead in shot on goal.
The third period was where Tassy really took over, as he factored in all three goals.
First, 4:20 into the period, he found a loose puck at the side of the crease and stuffed home a rebound on the backhand to make the score 4-2.
Just 2:10 later, Tassy raced to a loose puck just inside the offensive zone on the right side and fed a perfect pass to the middle to Coalson Wolford, who buried the puck five hole to make it a 5-2 game.
The Montreal native completed the hat-trick with 11 seconds to go, beating goaltender Johnny Derrick through the five hole while on a shorthanded breakway.
Grant Adams finished the night with 21 saves on 23 shots, while 12 different Silverbacks found the scoresheet in the win.
For the full boxscore, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“We thought it was a full 60 [minutes]. Defensively, I thought it was one of our best efforts of the season. I’ve got us marked down here as three chances against. That’s a credit to our team defence. We’ve talked about it all year — the best we are offensively is when we are playing good team defence. You see it here tonight, we play hard defensively, only give up three chances, and get rewarded for it with six goals. Five-on-five, I thought we carried the play the entire game. I think you see with the fact that we only had one power play and didn’t score any power play goals. It was a total effort right from the goaltender, all the way to the forwards. It’s just been a lot of consistency for our group lately, which is good.” — Silverbacks assistant coach Carter Cochrane
Simon Tassy— Salmon Arm Silverbacks: After going 15 games without a goal, Tassy exploded for three goals and four points, and was the best Silverback player by far.
“I think tonight is just a night where he buried on those chances. I don’t think there was much different in the way he played. I think that’s just a testament to how he’s been playing lately that he was just due for one of these nights to finally break out. This is just the start of great things for him. It might not come all at once here right away, but the future for Simon is extremely promising. Today’s game was right from the puck drop, the first two periods, he was our best player and I think he just solidified that there in the third period with the three points
Will Poirier— Salmon Arm Silverbacks: Poirier scored yet again on Wednesday — his 10th goal in his last 11 games. His 21 goals this season are now top-20 in the league, despite Poirier missing seven games due to injury.
Hunter Sansbury— Salmon Arm Silverbacks: Sansbury always brings the physicality, but he was even more noticeable on this night, throwing his weight around all over the ice and intimidating the Warriors. He also picked up the primary assist on Tassy’s breakaway goal in the third.
The Silverbacks have two games this weekend: an away game in Merritt on Saturday and a home game on Sunday night against Wenatchee. Sunday’s game is huge given the standings implications, but it’s also ‘Bring a Friend Night’, where all season ticket holders get one free ticket to bring a friend or family member.
All games this season can be heard on 91.5 EZ Rock with the pre-game shows starting half an hour before puck drop. Fans can also stream games on HockeyTV.