Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Game 1 of Round 2

In Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre the Salmon Arm Silverbacks took home ice advantage away from the Vees with a 3-1 victory. Salmon Arm's best players were great as were their special teams and both combined to be the difference in the game. Goaltender Kris Moore turned in one of his finest performances of the season with 40 saves while Brett Hull Trophy winner Mike Hammond scored all three Silverback goals. The Apes also went one-for-four with 5:09 of powerplay time while holding the Vees to one goal on seven oppurtunities in 11:30 minutes with the man-advantage.

Moore was especially great in the last half of the second period when the Apes were dominated by the Peaches and did not register a shot offensively while giving up grade "A" scoring chance after grade "A" scoring chance against.

With the hattrick Hammond takes over the BCHL playoffs lead with eight goals despite playing in only five games.

Late in the game Penticton had a glorious chance to tie the contest as they went on a 5-on-3 powerplay for 1:35 with only 2:03 remaining. After 30 seconds the Vees pulled their goalie and turned the advantage into a rare 6-on-3 but shortly thereafter Devin Gannon drew a penalty and Hammond sealed the victory with an empty net goal.

Early in the contest the Vees fourth unit had two great chances to open up the scoring but Carter Rigby was stopped point-blank by Moore's glove and Mark Hall missed an open net from in close. On the very next shift Penticton twice rattled the puck off the post as first Joey Holka, on his off-wing, went shortside off the iron followed moments later by Brendan O'Donnell, also on his offside, going shortside and hitting the opposite post. With six and a half minutes left in the opening stanza Hammond took a great pass from Josh Manson and did the rest with a nice deke to the backhand to open the scoring.

After a tough finish to the second period Salmon Arm's second goal was the turning point of the game as 0:55 seconds into the final frame Morgan Zulinick fed Hammond who niftly deked and passed off to Brad Reid who return the favour with a great return pass to Hammond at the crease for a backhanded tip in. The Silverbacks continued to press and held the Peaches to one shot in the first eight minutes of the period while Joel Rumpel was at his best and stopped Salmon Arm on several chances to keep his team in the game. 1994 born defenceman Troy Stecher got his team back within one goal with eight minutes left when he collected his own rebound and quickly wrapped the puck around the net.

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