by Fraser Rodgers
January 31, 2014, PENTICTON, BC (ISN) – The Salmon Arm Silverbacks continue to be a riddle the Penticton Vees can’t solve. Bryden Marsh and Landon Smith scored second period goals, as the Silverbacks upended the Vees 2-1 Friday at the SOEC.
The win is the Silverbacks fourth in as many tries against Penticton this season and second at the SOEC. The loss denies the Vees their third straight win and they finish January with a 5-3-1-1 record.
The two teams skated to a scoreless first period, as they combined for just twelve shots. The Vees best chance came from Riley Alferd, who maneuvered himself to the top of the crease but couldn’t find the handle on a back-hand attempt. Landon Smith had Salmon Arm’s best opportunity, as his bid from the right-circle clanged off the post.
Salmon Arm’s Bryden Marsh broke the scoreless deadlock less than a minute into the second period. Marsh finished-off a nice passing play between he, Jack Berezan and Alex Jewell down-low in the Vees zone. Berezan found Marsh at the near-post on a cross-crease pass just fifty-one seconds into the second.
Four minutes later Max Coatta appeared to have brought the Vees back level, with a bullet of a shot from the slot. Coatta one-timed the puck that hit both posts before jetting out. However, the puck looked to have crossed the goal-line on its way around the net; the goal judge’s red light went on. However, after a very brief discussion with one lines-man, the referee waved-off the goal, deeming the puck never had crossed the goal-line.
The no-goal proved to loom large, as Salmon Arm doubled their lead towards the end of the middle frame. After the Vees were saddled with a four-minute double-minor high sticking penalty, Salmon Arm’s Landon Smith rifled a wrist-shot from the right-circle over Olivier Mantha’s glove at 17:50; Smith’s league-leading thirty-ninth.
Brad McClure pulled the Vees within one late in the third period. On a Vees power-play, McClure picked the corner over Angus Redmond’s blocker from the top of the left-circle at 18:27; his team best thirty-fifth.
The Vees then pulled the goalie in favour of an extra skater but couldn’t muster up a tying goal. Their best chance at equalizing came off the blade of Brett Beauvais but he had his wrist-shot from the bottom of the left-circle kicked-out by Redmond’s pad.
Final Score: 2-1 Salmon Arm
Shots: 22-15 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 1-3 Salmon Arm 1-4
Three Stars: 1) Landon Smith 2) Angus Redmond 3) Brad McClure
The Vees record drops to 29-12-2-4 with the loss, and their home record slides to 15-5-0-3. The Vees are now 16-8-1-2 against the Interior Division and as mentioned, finish with a 5-3-1-1 record in January. Shane McColgan extended his point streak to four games in the loss (2-3-5). Nic Pierog didn’t play as he was battling strep throat. Cam Amantea served the last game of his three-game suspension, and is eligible to return tomorrow. West Kelowna is now only two points back of the Vees for the battle of first place, as they picked up a point in an overtime loss in Merritt.
The Vees and Silverbacks go right back at it tomorrow night in Salmon Arm at the Shaw Centre; face-off is at 7pm. The Vees will be looking for their first win in five tries against the ‘Backs this season. Fans can listen to the game on EZ Rock AM 800, starting with the pre-game show at 6:40pm.
The Vees return to the SOEC on Wednesday, February 5th, when they entertain the Trail Smoke Eaters. It’s the final “Wicked Wednesday” of the season, as tickets are just $5, beer is $2.50 and the Vees in partnership with the Penticton Speedway, will be raffling off a 2001 Honda Civic 4-door for just $2. Fans can get their tickets at the Valley First box office (at the SOEC).