The Vernon Vipers staged a comeback victory against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, winning 5-4 in overtime on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)

Vernon Vipers stage comeback, beat Salmon Arm in overtime

Team overcame 3-goal deficit to win 5-4 in OT at home on Sunday night

The Vernon Vipers looked to be on the verge of dropping consecutive games over the weekend, but they were able to right the ship in a 4-3 overtime victory against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The Snakes erased a three-goal deficit against the Backs on Sunday at Kal Tire Place. It’s a win that will help them forget a 5-1 loss at the hands of the Trail Smoke Eaters Friday night.

William Poirier got the Silverbacks up to an early lead with a goal less than four minutes after the opening puck drop, and another 1:50 into the second period. Salmon Arm added a third goal 39 seconds later as Sam Schofield set up Logan Shaw in the slot, who beat goaltender Reilly Herbst for a quick 3-0 lead.

The Vipers finally broke through offensively when a shot by Ryan Shostak was kicked out by Backs goalie Grant Adams, right onto the stick of Ben Sanderson who buried his second of the season.

Shortly afterwards, Landon Fuller helped keep the energy levels high in the arena, dropping the gloves with Jarrod Semchuk. The Vipers got another one back with a few minutes to go in the second, courtesy of Jackson Caller with assists to Ben Helgeson and Connor Sleeth.

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Some quick scoring plays spelled an entertaining start to the third period. JoJo Tanaka-Campbell scored to tie the game 3-3 after a gorgeous feed from Matt Kowalski while on his knees.

Not to be outdone, Poirier completed a hat trick 36 seconds later off a rebound opportunity to restore Salmon Arm’s lead.

With less than eight minutes to play, Fuller got his fill. The big defenceman scored his 10th of the year off a centring pass from D-partner Trey Taylor, which would ultimately send the game to overtime.

It took nearly the full extra period to decide the game, but with just 10 seconds left Cam MacDonald found some room around the left circle and rifled a shot off the post and in to secure the extra point, keeping the Vipers two points up on the Silverbacks in the BCHL standings.

The Vipers are calling all Aussies to Kal Tire Place this weekend.

The team is partnering with SilverStar Mountain Resort to bring Aussie Day to the home rink on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. SilverStar’s Australian staff and guests are invited to the game against the West Kelowna Warriors. As a teaser, SilverStar put together a video of staff scrimmaging on the mountain’s outdoor rink. Set to humorously dramatic music, it’s sure to set the right tone for game day.

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at
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