Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (24-12-1-2) had plenty of chances to take leads Friday night against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (18-15-4-0), but strong goaltending and going 0-for-8 on the power play combined to hand the Vees a 3-1 loss Friday night.
The first period was scoreless with the shots 11-5 in favour of the Vees. The power play woes started in the first, as the Vees would finish the period on the man advantage after hitting the post earlier in the period.
Just 33 seconds into the second Penticton was handed a 50-second five-on-three power play, but couldn’t get anything going and didn’t even register a shot on net.
Six minutes later Penticton had another 1:13 two-man advantage, this time generating multiple chances on goal, but Silverbacks goalie Matthew Armitage stood tall in his crease turning aside each one.
Less than a minute after the power play expired the Silverbacks took the lead. After Penticton gloved the puck out of mid air in front of the net, it landed on the stick of Wyatt Marlow who turned and fired home his first BCHL goal to open the scoring.
The lead didn’t last long as Andre Ghantous performed a nice toe drag move around a defenders stick before firing it past the glove of Armitage from the slot to tie the game 3:29 later.
Penticton had five power plays in the second, leading to them outshooting Salmon Arm 16-7 in the period, but tied 1-1 after 40 minutes.
After both teams killed off a pair of penalties in the third, the Silverbacks took the lead on a tic-tac-toe passing play.
Andy Stevens gained the Penticton line at the right point and sent it rink wide to Nick Unruh. Unruh then slid it to the front of the net where Hudson Schandor deflected it past Jack LaFontaine to give Salmon Arm the lead with 4:38 to play.
The Vees continued to press, including in the final minute with the net empty, but Trevor Adams would hit the empty cage from the neutral zone with just six seconds remaining to seal the Salmon Arm win.
Final shots on goal read 38-28 Penticton and Armitage was named the games first star for his performance in net. The two teams will meet again Sunday afternoon in Salmon Arm for a 3:00 start.
Announced attendance was 3,011.