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Wild get late equalizer, take down the Silverbacks in overtime

Salmon Arm, BC – The Wenatchee Wild (18-19-1-2) made their second trip into Salmon Arm (19-14-3-1) on Saturday night as the ‘Backs and Wild met for the fourth time on the season. The Wild made the trip from Merritt last night following a 4-3 victory over the Merritt Centennials. While the Silverbacks were just kicking off their weekend as they were looking to match their season long win-streak of four games. The ‘Backs were once again treated to a loud crowd at the Shaw Centre as continued on with their season long home stand.

Matthew Tovell (15-12-2-0, 2.62 GAA, .924 S %, 4 SO) got the start once again for the Silverbacks, while Andy Vlaha (8-11-1-0, 3.06 GAA, .901 S%) got the start for the Wild.

The Silverbacks were able to use the momentum from the home crowd in the opening period as Isaac Lambert (11) returned to the lineup in style as he opened the scoring with a determined wraparound effort to bear Vlaha to the nearside post. Salmon Arm got themselves into penalty trouble as the period progressed as both Liam Steele, and Isaac Lambert went to the box for penalties midway through the period. The Wild were able to strike on both powerplay attempts as Ean Somoza (15), and Christian Kim (7) got the Wild in the front as they went a perfect two for two on the man advantage. Shots in the opening period were 15-9 in favor of Wenatchee.

Salmon Arm came out in the middle frame looking to turn the tides as the came into the period trailing by one. It was once again the line of Gillespie, Lambert, and Jules Boilard getting things going for the ‘Backs as they were able to get back into position on the backcheck and take the puck the other way. Jules Boilard (5) was able to fire home a one timer to beat Vlaha and get things tied up at two. Just five minutes later it was the captain, Nathan Mackie (19) deflecting one home on the delayed Wild penalty to restore their one goal cushion. The lead was short lived as the Wild fired right back on a tic-tac-toe play as Mario Gasparini (2) was able to get things tied up. Salmon Arm had two powerplay opportunities in between, but Wenatchee was able to kill both off. Late in the period it was a brilliant individual effort from Tristan Allen as he was able to weave his way through the Wild defence before finding Brandon Santa Juana (11) at the near post where he was able to tap one home to give the ‘Backs a lead. Shots in the period were 11-10 in favor of Salmon Arm.

The final period of play was a different style to which was seen in the first two periods as the Silverbacks and Wild seemed to lock things up on the defensive side of things. The story of the third period was Wild goaltender, Andy Vlaha as he stole the show stopping all 15 shots that he faced. The biggest one of that count was a short-handed penalty shot for CJ Foley. In the dying stages of the period with the Wild trailing by one, it was Christian Kim (8) getting his second of the night with just 20 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. In the extra period, the Wild were able to grab the extra point as Jason Stefanek (6) notched the overtime winner with just under two minutes to go.

Next up for the Silverbacks will be a Sunday night clash with the Prince George Spruce Kings! Puck drop will be at 5:00PM from the Shaw Centre! All kids 15 and under will get in free thanks to Fountain Tire.

Photo by CHRIS FOWLER – Recap by Courtesy of TONY TROZZO