PHOTO: PURE LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY
Salmon Arm, B.C. — A late second period goal from John Evans was enough to get the West Kelowna Warriors narrowly past the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Friday night at the Shaw Centre.
The Backs are now 3-7-1 in the Okanagan Cup with one game remaining in the round robin, while the Warriors improve to 6-4-1, locking up second place.
The Silverbacks had a good start to this one and were rewarded roughly halfway through the frame, after Danny Ciccarello deflected a shot from the point from Lucas Matta past Johnny Derrick to open the scoring.
Just under five minutes later, the Warriors evened the score on a power play, after new addition Jack Finley redirected a shot over the shoulder of Riley Kohonick. Not long after, Finley came close to notching his second of the period, but his wrist shot from the slot rang off the post and out.
The Warriors were given their fourth power play of the game very early in the second period, but the momentum went the other way, after a strong play in the neutral zone from the Silverbacks. Logan Shaw and Matta combined to break up a zone entry and the speed and skill of Simon Tassy did the rest, as he raced away from centre ice, beat Warriors defenceman Tyson Jugnauth to the net and tucked one home on the forehand to give Salmon Arm a 2-1 lead.
West Kelowna would respond just a few minutes later. With the Silverbacks very close to exiting the zone and potentially having an odd-man rush, the puck found it’s way to their own slot, where Matthew Stienburg was waiting behind the ‘D’. The Cornell University forward quickly deposited it to the back of the net to tie things 2-2.
With just 11.7 seconds to go in the period, the Warriors grabbed their first lead of the game, thanks to a good cross-ice feed from Stienburg to John Evans after a broken play, who made no mistake for his fifth of the Okanagan Cup.
The third period saw a few solid chances for the Silverbacks, including a glorious one from Daniel Panetta in tight on the backhand, but Derrick would shut things down and get West Kelowna the narrow 3-2 victory.
For the full boxscore, click here.
THEY SAID IT
“I think offensively that was one of our better games of the year in terms of generating quality looks and quality chances. I think that early on especially, you saw in the first period — we controlled and dictated the pace of the game. In the second period there we got a little bit scrambly and it was a bit of a different type of game, and in that sense it favours them a lot more. They like to play that run and gun style. That interesting 4-on-4 sequence in the second period was one that definitely changed the complexion of the game a little bit and started to make it out to be a little bit more run and gun, high-chance action and it’s just not the way we want to play the game.” – Asst. Coach Carter Cochrane
The Silverbacks wrap up the Okanagan Cup round robin on Saturday against the West Kelowna Warriors. Following that, the semifinals will take place, with first place taking on fourth and second place facing off against third.