Game Preview: Vees vs. Salmon Arm Silverbacks (Game Seven)


Game Time: 7:00 pm PST

Location: South Okanagan Events Centre

Radio: Bounce 800 AM

Webcast: Flo Hockey

Season Series Playoffs
Dec. 8, Penticton 0 at Salmon Arm 1 GM 1: May 3, Salmon Arm 2 at Penticton 0
Dec. 9, Salmon Arm 2 at Penticton 1 GM 2: May 4, Salmon Arm 1 at Penticton 4
Dec. 30, Penticton 3 at Salmon Arm 4 GM 3: May 6, Penticton 4 at Salmon Arm 1
Feb 2, Penticton 5 at Salmon Arm 2 GM 4: May 8, Penticton 1 at Salmon Arm 2 OT
Feb 19, Penticton 2 at Salmon Arm 3 (OT) GM 5: May 10, Salmon Arm 3 at Penticton 1
March 23, Salmon Arm 2 at Penticton 1 (SO) GM 6: May 12, Penticton 3 at Salmon Arm 0
Dec. 8, Penticton 0 at Salmon Arm 1 GM 7: May 14, Salmon Arm at Penticton


Penticton Vees

President, GM & Head Coach: Fred Harbinson

Regular Season Record: GP 54 38-10-3-3, 1st in the Interior Conference

Playoff Record: 11-4

Last Game: 3-0 win at Salmon Arm (May 11th)

Home: 6-2

Away: 5-2

GF: 40

GA: 21

Power Play: (5/34) 14.7%

Penalty Kill: (3/26) 88.5%

Scoring Leader: Callum Arnott (7-7-14)

It all comes down to this for the Penticton Vees. The two best words in sports: Game Seven. A new experience for those in blue and white, they’ll prepare for a winner-take-all scenario on Tuesday at the SOEC. It’s the first time a Game Seven has been played at the SOEC in over 2200 days, dating back to March 26, 2018.

Going back to Saturday night in Salmon Arm, the Vees knew they had to go in with no passengers if they wanted to force a Game 7. Facing elimination was yet another new hurdle for this group, something they hadn’t had to do since before most of the current players were age eligible for junior hockey.  

It took a full 60-minute effort to secure a 3-0 win on Saturday night in Game Six at the Shaw Centre. The Vees got goals from Simon Meier, Conyr Hellyer and Callum Arnott while Will Ingemann was sensational making 28-saves in a shutout effort. The penalty kill was once again perfect and has pushed up to a stellar 88.5% success rate after spending most of the regular season in the middle of the pack. The powerplay, meanwhile, continued its recent struggles going 0-for-3 on Saturday night. Now converting at just 14.7% in the playoffs, it’s clear that if Penticton is going to win this series it’s going to have to be done at even strength.

Will Ingemann, who has been superb during the playoffs, is tabbed as the Game Seven starter with the Vees likely making no lineup changes ahead of the series finale. Ingemann has continued his stellar regular season and extended it into the playoffs, going 8-2 with 1.07 goals-against average, .952% save percentage and three shutouts in the postseason.

How important has been scoring first in these playoffs? The Vees are 6-1 when getting the game’s first goal. The Silverbacks are 9-2. Scoring first could go a long way in Game Seven.

 Salmon Arm Silverbacks

General Manager: Brooks Christensen

Head Coach: Tyler Shattock

Regular Season Record: GP 54 34-17-0-3, 3rd in the Interior Conference

Playoff Record: 11-6

Last Game: 3-1 Loss vs Penticton (May 11)

Home: 5-3

Away: 6-3

GF: 48

GA: 34

Power Play: (7/40) 17.5%

Penalty Kill: (5/42) 88.1%

Scoring Leader: Cole Cooksey (8-6-14)

For the Silverbacks they already know they’re in the ‘deep water’ of this series. After losing to the Vees in five games in the Interior Conference final last season, you can be sure they want to write a different script in Game Seven

They’ve defended well throughout the series and capitalized on their opportunities when they become available. They’ve learned they can take some chances with Eli Pulver in the net behind them, and he’s been as advertised thus far.

The Silverbacks have scored sparingly through six games, notching just seven goals in eighteen periods plus overtime. They’ve been good enough defensively and in goal that those seven goals in six games have earned them three wins, and they’re just one win away from dethroning the back-to-back defending Fred Page Cup Champion Vees.

Eli Pulver has played every second of every playoff game for the ‘Backs, so it’s all but a guarantee they turn to him tonight. Pulver has amassed an 11-6 record during the playoffs, carrying a 1.79 goals-against average and .945% save percentage, with three shutouts. With a couple days off between games he and the rest of the Silverbacks are sure to be at their best for a winner-take-all scenario on Tuesday night.