Morning Star Staff
The Salmon Arm Silverbacks own the fifth-best power play in the B.C. Hockey League.
They used the Vernon Vipers to bolster their special teams stats in a 5-1 victory before 1,270 fans at the Shaw Centre.
Salmon Arm (17-6-2-1) scored five times in the opening 20 minutes, three with the man advantage, outshooting the Vipers 24-11 and winning almost all the loose pucks.
“As a whole, we were flat in the first period and good in the second and third,” said Viper head coach Mark Ferner. “We had no compete, we were passive and we were gliding in the first period. We were watching video this morning (Saturday) and I can’t put my finger on our inconsistency period to period or game to game. I don’t know if they aren’t sure how to win or if they’re afraid to fail.”
The same two teams meet tonight (6:00) at Kal Tire Place.
Ross Heidt opened the scoring with his 18th of the season at 2:38. The Vipers (13-14-0-2) equalized at 5:03 on Christian Cakebread’s sixth on the power play.
Chase Zieky’s 11th increased the Gorillas’ lead to 2-1 at 9:16 on the power play with Brett Stapley penalized for hooking.
Heidt made it 3-1 a minute later and Josh Laframboise’s converted his eighth, on another powerplay, seven minutes later, with Mitchell Oliver off for hooking.
Carson Bolduc made it 5-1 with 36 seconds left in the first with Odeen Tufto off for goaltender interference.
“They were all stupid penalties that could have been prevented,” said Ferner.
The Silverbacks outshot Vernon 43-28 with Angus Redmond in net. Brendan Barry was solid in the loss.
The Vipers visit the Coquitlam Express Wednesday night and meet the Vees Friday night in Penticton before entertaining the Cowichan Valley Capitals Saturday night.
The Merritt Centennials upset the host Langley Rivermen 2-1, while the Trail Smoke Eaters surprised the visiting Wenatchee Wild 4-2 and the West Kelowna Warriors upended the hometown Surrey Eagles 6-4.
In the KIJHL, the Osoyoos Coyotes got a third-period goal from Hunter Johnson to shade the North Okanagan Knights 1-0 at the Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong.