It wasn’t the game winning goal, but a fortunate play and bounce for the Penticton Vees led them to a 5-3 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Looking for the weekend sweep of three games in two and a half days, the Silverbacks allowed a goal 20 seconds into the third period when Matthew Armitage lost his stick in the net, and a point shot from James Miller went off a Silverback player and into the net to give Penticton a 3-2 lead.
Salmon Arm opened the scoring of the game on an early goal of their own, when Trevor Adams stole a puck in the left faceoff circle, and whipped the puck in front of the net for Justin Wilson to tap in. Massimo Rizzo would reply just before the first period media timeout, scoring his fifth goal of the season. At the intermission the score was tied at 1-1 and the shots were even with both goalies facing eight.
In the second it was Penticton getting a quick goal. Massimo Rizzo made a nice drag move through his legs, and cutting from the right corner was able to score his second of the game. Shortly after, the game would finally see it’s first penalty called with James Miller of the Vees heading to the box. for roughing. From the left faceoff circle, Sol Seibel fed the puck back to the point where Salmon Arm local Cole Nisse sent a wrister off the right post and into the net. It was the first goal on home ice for Nisse in his rookie campaign. 30 seconds later David Silye was setup right in the slot, but the Penticton forward’s shot was blockered away by Armitage. The period would end for the second time tied in goals and shots. The score was 2-2 and both teams added 11 shots for a total of 19 each.
After the early Miller goal in the third, Penticton scored two more goals on their next three shots to go ahead 5-2 with 15:37 to go. Two quick penalties to the Vees though set up a 5-on-3 power play for Salmon Arm, and they were quick to convert. John Little received the puck to the right of the net, and quickly fed it across to Justin Wilson who from a sharp angle found the back of the net for his second goal of the evening. Salmon Arm was unable to capitalize on the second power play, and finished two for three on the night. The penalty kill was spectacular as well. After stopping all eight Penticton power plays Friday night, the Silverbacks stopped three of three Sunday afternoon.
Armitage was pulled with just over a minute to go, but the home side couldn’t find the back of the net. Rizzo almost hit the net in the dying seconds for a hat-trick, but his clearing attempt went just wide of the goal.
Salmon Arm beat Penticton Friday night in the SOEC, and played Saturday as well defeating the Surrey Eagles 6-2. Able to rest up on Saturday, the Vees used the break to their advantage with the fast start in the third period when the Silverbacks were starting to fade.
The team gets this week to practice, and have their second of three straight triple headers coming up this weekend. They will start in Vernon on Friday, and return home to play the Powell River Kings Friday night and the Nanaimo Clippers on Sunday afternoon.
Setting up the first goal of the game, Trevor Adams was ferocious on the forecheck and was great at stealing the puck away in the offensive zone. The assist ended a drought of nine games without a helper. Despite losing, it was a special Sunday afternoon for Cole Nisse who was able to score his first goal in the Shaw Centre. He has seen his minutes soar since the start of the season, and is being counted on for all situations on the ice.