A battle for first place at the South Okanagan Events Centre didn’t go the Penticton Vees’ way on Friday night.
Salmon Arm Silverbacks goaltender Owen Say stood tall, making 40 saves and holding off the Vees to lead his team to a 4-3 shootout victory in BCHL action.
The Silverbacks handed the Vees (18-2-0-1) their first loss in 10 games, after tying the game with 58 seconds left in the third period to send the game to overtime.
But even after a thrilling 3-on-3 overtime frame, nothing was solved.
Silverbacks (18-4-1-0) forward Simon Tassy scored the lone goal in the shootout, ensuring Salmon Arm’s victory and sending the Vees home disappointed for the first time in a long time.
Penticton outshot Salmon Arm 43-21 throughout the duration of the affair but struggled to solve Say, particularly in the second period.
After trailing the Silverbacks 2-1 as the third period began, the Vees scored two consecutive goals, including a late marker by the team’s leading scorer Josh Nadeau with under five minutes to play.
But Salmon Arm showed no desire to quit on Friday night. In a game filled with tension, 2708 in attendance in Penticton watched the Silverbacks celebrate emphatically as they tied the game late, securing the victory in a shootout just 10 minutes later.
Friday night marked the first time this season that Penticton goaltender Kaeden Lane has faltered in a shootout. The Vees netminder made 18 saves on 21 shots against the Silverbacks while spending a fair amount of time watching his counterpart, Say, frustrate Penticton shooters with his steadiness in the crease.
Along with scoring the shootout-winner, Tassy scored the Silverbacks’ first goal in regulation, tying the game at one in the first period. The forward’s marker was his league-leading 21st of the season.
Daniel Panetta and Brandon Santa Juana were credited with the other two Salmon Arm goals.
Aside from Nadeau’s goal in the third period, which at one point looked to be the winner, Jackson Nieuwendyk and Brett Moravec acted as the other Penticton goal scorers on Friday.
The Silverbacks are slated to hit the ice against the Prince George Spruce Kings on Dec. 17 at the Shaw Centre, as they continue their quest for first place.
Penticton, meanwhile, doesn’t have as much time to let the aftermath of Friday night sink in. The Vees will hit the road to the West Kootenays on Saturday and get set for a showdown with the Trail Smoke Eaters.
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