Silverbacks’ forward Nick Unruh slides in to intercept a pass from Vipers’ forward Landon Fuler during their playoff game March 6 in Salmon Arm. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Vipers hang on to early lead to make playoff series 3-1 against Silverbacks

Defensive play, steady goaltending keeps Vernon ahead of Salmon Arm

Defensive play was the name of the game for the Vernon Vipers in the fourth matchup against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, capitalizing on an early lead and holding onto it right until the end.

From the first faceoff, play was fierce on both sides of the ice as the teams sought an early advantage to build from and avoid a third straight overtime finish in the series. Vernon’s Matt Kowalski would be the skater to generate this advantage just 1:25 into the first period off the assist from Ben Sanderson and Carver Watson, and it signalled a shift in the game’s pace.

Read More: Silverbacks down 2-1 in playoff series versus the Vipers

Vernon worked to keep a firm hold on possession and avoid turnovers, making patient passes from behind the net and locking down defensively. The Silverbacks made several strong pushes into the Vipers’ zone, but a series of heart-stopping saves by Aidan Porter kept things at 1-0 until the buzzer. Salmon Arm took five penalties in the first, but a solid penalty kill by the ‘Backs prevented Vernon from pressing the man-advantage.

Heading into the second, the Vipers kept up with the strong defence, locking down Salmon Arm’s scoring for another 20 minutes of play. Despite three penalties in succession for the Vipers, the ‘Backs couldn’t find the net on the powerplay. Kowalski put up his second point of the night early in the period, assisted by Michael Young and Jack Judson, extending the lead to 2-0.

Read More: Silverbacks ready to get in Vipers’ face during the playoffs

The third period was an all-out push by the Silverbacks to gain some ground in the game. The Vipers held onto the shutout potential until late in the period, before Andy Stevens fired off Salmon Arm’s lone goal of the night, assisted by Captain Sol Seibel. With five minutes left to push it to overtime, the Vipers kept up a strong defence and stopped the majority of Salmon Arm’s good scoring opportunities in their zone. Vernon held onto their 2-1 lead up until the buzzer, sending the series to game five at a 3-1 balance in their favour.

Game five hits the ice in Vernon on Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m. in the Kal Tire Place.

 

Vipers’ goalie Aidan Porter hangs on to the puck after making a glove save against the Silverbacks. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Silverbacks’ defenceman Akito Hirose keeps his eyes up, looking for an angle around Vipers’ defenceman Brendan Kim. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Silverbacks’ forward Aiden Jenner and Vipers’ forward Lane Zablocki grapple for possession during the March 6 playoff game in Salmon Arm. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

‘Coffee with a Cop’ returns to Vernon

The next event will take place Monday June 24, from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Vernon cyclist “Races Across America”

Leah Goldstein is raising money for Vernon’s Venture Training’s Cycle - Cycle facility

Beekeepers from Argentina find sweet success in Falkland

Honey Onyx Apiary is hoping to increase its operations by 200 hives this year

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: rain expected

Showers are expected to end by tomorrow

South Okanagan Flames clinch home advantage for lacrosse playoffs

The South Okanagan Flames defeated the Vernon Tigers

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Commercial fishers in B.C. now required to wear life-jackets on deck: WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC reports 24 work-related deaths in the commercial fishing industry between 2007 and 2018

Beekeeping Rossland boy finds human kindness sweet as honey

Family overwhelmed by kind offerings of strangers

B.C. files second legal challenge against Alberta over turn-off-taps law

B.C. government filed a second lawsuit against Alberta on June 14

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan

Canada’s commitment is to cut emissions to 70 per cent of what they were in 2005 before 2030

Slackwater Brewing officially opens in the South Okanagan

Two level brewery features street side and rooftop patios

Victoria double murder trial: Blood splatter analyst found no shoe prints on scene

RCMP analyst testifies to smears, fingermarks, ‘swipe and wipe’ patterns around apartment

Shuswap author tells First Nations family’s story of resilience, leadership

Chase resident will hold book signing in Salmon Arm June 22, in Kelowna June 23 and Vernon June 29.

Most Read