October 4, 2013, SALMON ARM, BC – Alex Gillies scored twice and added an assist, leading the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to a 5-2 win over the Penticton Vees Friday at the Shaw Centre.
The loss snaps the Vees two game win streak and is their third straight setback on the road.
The Vees got off on the right foot, as Josh Blanchard got the visitors on the scoresheet first, seven minutes into the game. Max Coatta knocked down a clearing attempt at the blue-line before pumping a shot off from the right-circle. His shot was stopped by Adam Clark but Blanchard, crashing the crease, whacked the rebound threw the goalies wickets at 7:14.
The Vees couldn’t build off the strong start and the Silverbacks turned a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead in a matter of sixty-one seconds. Former Vee Max Becker tied the game when he capitalized off a turnover inside the Vees zone. Becker found a loose puck in the right-circle and quickly snapped it up and over Olivier Mantha’s glove at 15:45. Another defensive miscue led to another Silverbacks goal seconds later, as Alex Gillies redirected a point-shot past Mantha at 16:46. The Vees turned the puck over on the wall and Gillies, parked in front of the net, tipped the point-shot by Blake Box straight down and through Mantha; his league-leading 10th.
The Vees, down a goal to start the second, came out strong but despite plenty of offensive zone time, couldn’t generate an equalizer. Josh Blanchard had the Vees best chance when he slipped behind the Silverbacks defense but he fired his wrist-shot wide of the far-post on a partial breakaway.
Evan Anderson pushed the Silverbacks lead to three in the final minutes of the middle frame. After a scramble out front of the Vees cage, Anderson pounced on a loose puck in the right-circle and forced a bouncing shot past a down and out Mantha at 18:39.
The Silverbacks scored their fourth unanswered on the power-play midway through the third period. Mitch Ferguson darted down the left-wing, centered for Gillies, who quickly dropped the puck to the trailing Landon Smith. Smith wasted little time getting the puck off his stick, as he zipped a wrist-shot high on the glove-side at 10:21. Gillies was also in on the Silverbacks fifth and final goal, as he was the beneficiary of a Vees miscue while their net empty.
Down four and on the power-play, the Vees pulled the goalie in favour of a six-on-four advantage with eight-minutes left. However, the Vees point-man bobbled the puck at the Silverbacks blue-line and Gillies was left with open ice and an empty-net in front of him; a tap-in at 12:33.
Cody DePourcq scored a consolation marker with two and a half minutes left to end a run of five straight Salmon Arm goals. DePourcq took a pass from Travis Blanleil and buried his second under the arm of Clark at 17:27.
Final Score: 5-2 Silverbacks
Shots: 33-32 Vees
Power-Play: Vees 0/2 Silverbacks 1/3
Three Stars: 1) Alex Gillies 2) Adam Clark 3) Andrew Farny
The loss drops the Vees road record to 3-3; third straight loss away from the SOEC. Smith’s power-play goal in the second period was the first one surrendered by the Vees in three games. Max Coatta saw his three game point streak (2-1-3) come to an end in the loss. Olivier Mantha was saddled with the loss, his first against the Interior Division (2-1-0).
The Vees look to get back in the win column tomorrow, when they host the Island Division’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs; puck-drop is 6pm. The first 150 fans will receive an autographed Penticton Western News player pullout. There will also be a special pre-game ceremony honouring Summerland resident Nancy Wilson, as she was the first female inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in July. Tickets are available at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC or online, at www.valleyfirsttix.com.