PHOTO: TAMI QUAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Vernon, B.C. — The West Kelowna Warriors wouldn’t go away on Saturday night, clawing back from deficits of 3-0, 5-3 and 6-4, to eventually top the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7-6 in a shootout.
The Backs finish their pod season with a 9-7-3 record, while the Warriors improve to 8-9-2 with one game remaining.
If you like goals, you probably enjoyed this one, because there were a lot and they often came in bunches.
The Silverbacks burst out of the gate by jumping out to a 3-0 lead halfway through the first, scoring three times in a span of just 5:16.
First, Simon Tassy opened the scoring shorthanded just under six minutes into the game. Drew Bennett flipped a puck ahead to Tassy who went in on a breakaway, and although he was stopped, he stuck with it, used his quick hands to work his way back out front from behind the net and buried a wrist shot past Zach Bennett’s glove.
Under four minutes later, Philippe Jacques netted his second of the season. Jacuqes and Nathan Morgan worked their way into the offensive and played give and go, which led to Morgan ripping a wrist shot just over the goal. Once again, however, the Backs kept at it, as the puck banked back in front and Jacques quickly chipped it home to make it 2-0.
At the 11:04 mark of the period, the Backs would make it 3-0, after Julian Recine knocked home a rebound off Bennett’s right pad. Danny Ciccarello took the initial shot, while William Lavigne also drew an assist.
Just 14 seconds after making it 3-0, the Silverbacks thought they had made it 4-0, when Drew Bennett appeared to put home a loose puck in the crease, but the referees called Cameron Recchi for a high sticking penalty as he was trying to knock in the rebound. The officiating crew say Recchi made contact with goaltender Zach Bennett’s mask as he was trying to bat in the puck. Because of that, the score remained 3-0.
The Warriors would respond with two goals in 1:18. First, Marcus Joughin scored during 4-on-4 action and then Tyson Jugnauth blasted home a one-timer on a 4-on-3 power play to make the score 3-2 with 3:02 to go in the opening period.
Tassy responded for the Backs with his second of the game just 39 seconds later to make the score 4-2, as he came down the right wing side and sniped a shot just inside the far post.
Warriors rookie forward Carter Schmidt added to the craziness with 1:19 remaining in the first, netting his second of the season to make the score 4-3 for the Silverbacks after 20 minutes.
Neither team scored in the first 12 minutes of the second period, but shortly after that mark, there was another flurry of goals.
First, Bennett got on the board to make it 5-3 for the Backs, netting his seventh of the season off a rebound in front following a low point shot from Tucker Hartmann.
Warriors captain Elan Bar Lev Wise cut the lead to 5-4 just 1:44 later when he picked up his first goal of the season.
Just over a minute later, however, Jacques scored his second of the game, releasing a quick shot from the slot that hit the post and went past goaltender Johnny Derrick, who had replaced Zach Bennett in goal.
Warriors forward Carter Wilkie narrowed the lead to one when he scored on a power play with under a minute to go in the second.
The only goal of the third (surprisingly) came from Joughin at the 5:28 mark, on yet another Warriors power play, which tied the game 6-6.
In overtime, Salmon Arm had several good lucks, from Bennett, Recchi (twice) and Sansbury, but Derrick came up huge each time to send the game to a shootout.
Wilkie would be the only player to score from either side in the shootout, as Derrick stopped all three Silverbacks shooters: Tassy, Mack and then Sansbury.
For the full boxscore from Saturday’s game, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“I loved the effort of our group, obviously to come out. There was not a ton to play for from a standings standpoint, but obviously we showed tonight that we were going to battle right until the end no matter what the result was. Some things went our way, some things didn’t. Lots of goals, lots of guys got involved…Obviously wasn’t the way we wanted to finish it off here, even the [past] week, but as we’ve talked about all throughout this [season], loved the effort and spirit of our group. Overall it’s tough to be disappointed with any of our guys and with the team as a whole.” — Assistant coach Carter Cochrane
SASCU 3 STARS
- Marcus Joughin – WK – 2G, 2A
- Philippe Jacques – SA – 2G
- Tyson Jugnauth – WK – 1G, 2A
FORTIS BC ENERGY PLAYER OF THE GAME
Drew Bennett – SA – 1G, 1A
That’s it for the Silverbacks 2020-21 pod season. Be sure to tune into our social media channels and our website this summer for recruitment announcements, updates for next season and lots more!