The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are now just one game away from the BCHL Interior Conference Finals.
Salmon Arm dominated game four of their conference semifinal series against the home Vernon Vipers Wednesday night, winning 7-3 to grab a 3-1 series lead.
The first period was all Silverbacks as they fired 16 shots on net. Tristan Allen scored the first goal of the game nine minutes in, before Brandon Santa Juana’s third of the playoffs 20 seconds later chased Vipers goaltender Ethan David, who made just four saves on six shots.
Isaac Lambert would put the visitors up by three four minutes later with his fourth of the postseason. Then, with just two minutes left in the first, the lights went out at Kal Tire Place, causing a 25 minute delay.
When the power went back on, and the game resumed in the second period, Vernon seemed to steal the momentum.
Julian Facchinelli capitalized on the power play from a Liam Steele tripping penalty, to bring the Vipers within two. Isaac Tremblay scored his third of the playoffs minutes later to cut the deficit to one.
Both teams would trade goals to round out the middle frame, with Salmon Arm’s Raoul Boilard’s first and Vernon’s Walker Erickson’s second of the playoffs, as the ‘Backs took a 4-3 lead into the third.
CJ Foley scored four minutes in the final frame to give a two goal cushion to Salmon Arm. Then, a backbreaking four-minute high stick penalty from Reagan Milburn would spell trouble for the Vipers as the Silverbacks scored twice on the extended power play (from Casy Laylin and Nathan Mackie) to lift them to a 7-3 victory.
Salmon Arm’s Matthew Tovell was stellar again in net, making 27 saves, while Roan Clarke, who relieved Ethan David early in the second, made 19 saves on 24 shots. Twelve Silverbacks players had points on the night in a total team victory.
Game five is set for Friday night, in Salmon Arm from the Shaw Centre. Puck drop is 7 p.m.
In other BCHL action on Wednesday night, The Penticton Vees continued their perfect postseason run by dispatching the Wenatchee Wild in game four, to advance to the Conference Finals. They will await the winner between Vernon and Salmon Arm.