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Unruh’s OT Winner, Strong PK Lifts Backs Past Wild

Salmon Arm, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks stayed undefeated against the Wenatchee Wild this season, thanks to a 3-2 overtime victory on home ice on Sunday afternoon.

Forward Nick Unruh had the OT winner — his second of the season — and the penalty kill was dynamite, going 8-for-8, including 6-for-6 in the third period. The Backs are now 4-0 head-to-head against Wenatchee this season.

With the win, the Silverbacks record is sits at 19-6-1, while the Wild drop to 11-10-4.


The Silverbacks were all over the Wild to start this one, outshooting them 7-0 in the first several minutes. However, a bounce for the Wild led to their first goal, after a blocked point shot ended up right in the slot and Ethan Wolthers swiped it along the ice through the five hole of Ethan Langenegger to open the scoring halfway through the period.

Salmon Arm would keep up the pressure they started with and at the 4:32 mark fo the period they were rewarded, after Tony Andreozzi’s point made it’s way through a double screen and into the back of the night to even the game 1-1.

After one period of play, the game was tied but the Backs had a dominant 15-2 lead in shots on goal.

Things continued to stay positive for the Silverbacks to start the second, as they drew back-to-back penalties. On their second power play, Jayden Price entered the zone down the left side and fed Noah Wakeford to his right, who in turn had a 2-on-1. Wakeford then passed one across to Daniel Rybarik, who zipped a one-timer past Daniel Chenard for his 16th goal of the season and a 2-1 lead.

Despite dominating the remainder of the period, the Wild would get even with a shorthanded goal with 1:06 to go in the period.

The third period was where the Backs faced some major adversity. Just 1:38 into the frame, defenceman Hunter Sansbury was given a major penalty for a blow to the head, after he stepped up in the neutral zone on Nicholas Chmelevski. Just 1:25 after that, Jayden Price dropped the mitts with Tyler Young and was given the instigator penalty, resulting in a 5-on-3 situation. Just 1:17 after that, Coalson Wolford — who was filling in on ‘D’ — was called for holding. The Backs killed them all off, plus three more minors over the course of the third period to force overtime.

In the extra frame, Ethan Langenegger made a key stop on Hunter Hastings on a 2-on-1, and not long after Nick Unruh burst by Nick Cafarelli down the left wing and sniped a shot under the arm of Chenard to win the game. It was his second OT winner of the season and his eighth goal overall. Unruh now has seven points in his last five games.


Jayden Price, Salmon Arm Silverbacks: Price had two assists in this one and also registered the first fight of the year for the Backs (who would have guessed!). The rookie now has four goals and 10 assists this season for 14 points, which is impressive considering he has played a decent chunk of the year as a defenceman (including tonight).

Nick Unruh, Salmon Arm Silverbacks: Both of Unruh’s OT goals this season have been impressive and he is now starting to catch fire, with three goals and four assists for seven points in his last five games.

Daniel Chenard, Wenatchee Wild: Chenard was dynamite all night long, particularly with his glove and how he took away the net with his angles. He has stopped 66 of 71 shots in his two games since returning from injury.

For the full boxscore, click here.


Backs 8-for-8 on the PK: A no-brainer here, as the Backs were shorthanded for almost the entire third period. They killed off consecutive 5-on-3s during the five minute major to Hunter Sansbury plus three more minors in a row.


The Silverbacks have a rematch with the Wild this coming Thursday, also on home ice, this time at 7 p.m. On Friday, the Backs travel to Vernon for the first matchup with the Vipers this season and then on Saturday they are in West Kelowna for a game against the Warriors at 6 p.m.

All games can be heard on 91.5 EZ Rock with the pre-game show starting half an hour before puck drop. Fans can also stream the games on HockeyTV.