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Penticton Vees top Salmon Arm Silverbacks, take 2-1 series lead

Game 4 is set for Wednesday before the series shifts back to the South Okanagan
The Penticton Vees topped the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in Game 3 of the Interior Conference Finals on Monday, May 6. (Photo- Penticton Vees/Facebook)

Will Ingemann made 28 saves, Callum Arnott recorded two points and the Penticton Vees defeated the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 4-1 on Monday, May 6, in Game 3 of the Interior Conference Finals.

Arnott scored the game-winning goal at 10:05 of the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie and lifting the Vees to their second victory of the third-round series.

Penticton now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, with Game 4 set for Wednesday night, May 8, at Salmon Arm’s Shaw Centre.

“It was a huge win,” said Vees forward Connor MacPherson, who scored two minutes after Arnott to give Penticton a 3-1 lead.

Billy Renfrew scored an empty-net marker with 54 seconds left in the third period to ice the game for Penticton.

Cade Littler also found the back of the net for the Vees, doing so in the first period after Silverbacks forward Cole Cooksey scored his eighth of the playoffs to open the game’s scoring.

Salmon Arm goaltender Eli Pulver made 34 saves in the loss.

Game 3 marked the first of the series played in the Shuswap after the teams exchanged wins last Thursday and Friday in Penticton.

“They grabbed the first one in our home rink, so coming into this game we wanted to take it [home ice] back,” MacPherson added. “We had our struggles here in the regular season, so this felt great.”

Cooksey got Salmon Arm on the board with an unassisted marker at 6:32 of the opening period, before Littler scored his first of the playoffs just two minutes later. Matthew Biotti and Brock Reinhart earned assists on Penticton’s first goal of the game.

After a scoreless middle frame when both teams fired 10 shots on net, the Vees broke out in the third for three unanswered goals.

The Silverbacks were awarded the game’s only power play — early in the third period — but were denied by the Vees’ penalty kill, which ranks second in the BCHL this playoffs.

“Tonight’s win speaks to the maturity of our group,” said Matthew Vanden Berg, the Vees’ assistant coach. “The guys stepped up in a challenging environment.”

Game 4 will be played Wednesday, May 8, in Salmon Arm, before the series shifts back to Penticton for Game 5 on Friday, May 10.

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About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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