PENTICTON, BC –Taylor Ward was the latest to dig deep into the Penticton Vees’ bag of tricks. Ward’s goal a minute and a half into overtime lifted the Vees to a 3-2 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Friday at the SOEC.
Off a face-off in the Salmon Arm end, Ward walked the goal-line and snuck a shot through Nic Tallarico’s legs at the post, as the Vees’ picked up their fifth straight win in their final home game before the Christmas break.
Jared Nash and Nicholas Jones scored in the second period for the Vees, who led 2-0 up until the final five minutes of regulation. Mat Robson, who would have wanted a mulligan on the first goal against, picked up his 23rd win stopping 25 of 27 shots.
Salmon Arm’s Elijiah Barriga and Justin Wilson scored less than two-minutes apart in the final five-minutes of the third to secure a point for the visitors. Tallarico turned aside 20 of 23 shots, as he suffered his first loss to this season and his first against the Vees.
Nash broke the scoreless dead lock in the second period, when he tipped-in Joe Leahy’s point-shot at 7:05. Nash reached out and redirected the puck underneath Tallarico’s blocker, for his first goal since October 12th; a stretch of 19-games.
Jones doubled the Vees lead five and a half minutes later, scoring on a cross-ice feed from Chris Klack. Klack grabbed the puck off a Salmon Arm defender, before going back across to Jones on the far-side. From just off the goal-line Jones hammered the puck into an open net at 12:31; his 13th and second in as many games.
Penticton had a couple of golden opportunities to pad their lead in the third period but were stymied by Tallarico. First, Duncan Campbell had a goal taken away when Tallarico lunged across to get a piece of his shot with his arm, after a backdoor pass from Jones. Then, Kenny Johnson fired from the blue-line but Tallarico flashed the leather on another fantastic glove-save to keep his team within reach. Those saves loomed large, as Salmon Arm rallied late.
Barriga got the Silverbacks on the board when his innocent looking shot from the wall surprised Mat Robson. The Vees’ goalie missed with his glove, as Barriga’s floater sailed into the corner at 14:48. Not long after Justin Wilson out muscled a Vees’ defenceman in front for the puck, before he spun and fired a quick shot up and over Robson’s glove at 16:46; Salmon Arm scoring two goals in just under two-minutes to force overtime.
Robson got his redemption early in the extra frame when he stopped Carson Bolduc on a partial break. Shortly after the opening face-off, Bolduc flew down the right-wing before trying to jam the puck in-close but Robson quickly got his pad out to keep the Vees alive.
Penticton didn’t squander their second chance, as Ward put on the hero’s cape and scored at the other end of the ice at 1:31. Nash picked up the only assist on the OT-goal for his second point of the net.
Final Score: 3-2 Vees (OT)
Shots: 27-23 Silverbacks
Power-Plays: Vees 0-3 Silverbacks 0-2
Three Stars: 1) Taylor Ward 2) Chris Klack 3) Jared Nash
Vees Notes: The win improves the Vees’ OT record to 8-1-0, as they’ve now played more OT games this season, than they did all of last year. The win also improves their record to 28-5-0-1, and they’re now 14-2-0-1 against the Interior Division; 2-0-0-1 against Salmon Arm. Grant Cruikshank had his four-game goal streak and five-game point streak came to an end despite the win.
The Vees and Silverbacks play again in Salmon Arm Saturday night, to wrap-up the weekend home-and home; it’s the final game before the Christmas break for both teams. Fans can listen to the game