After a slow start, the Penticton Vees picked up steam in the third period Sunday afternoon, scoring three quick goals to secure a 5-3 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and getting some payback for a loss Friday at the SOEC.
The game couldn’t have started worse for Penticton, after struggling to exit their own zone, the Silverbacks capitalized on a turnover behind the Vees net and the Silverback’s Justin Wilson opened the scoring just 65 seconds into the game.
The Vees settled down following the goal and tied it up nearly eight minutes later. After Massimo Rizzo shielded the puck from two Silverback defenders, he passed it to the blue line for Kenny Johnson.
Johnson fired the puck to the slot for Eric Linell, who spun and fired from the bottom of the circle. Matthew Armitage made the toe save, but the rebound went right to the slot for Rizzo who scored his fifth of the year.
The game was 1-1 heading into the second but didn’t stay that way for long. Just 55 seconds in, Rizzo scored his second of the game after streaking down the right wing, putting the puck through his own legs to get around the defenceman and jamming it towards the net.
The first shot appeared to be stopped by Armitage, but the rebound went off a Silverback skate and into the net giving Penticton an early 2-1 lead.
The Silverbacks answered back before the period was up as Cole Nisse took a wrist shot from the slot while on the power play, beating a screened Jack LaFontaine to tie the game.
The game remained tied through the second period, but an even earlier start to the third kickstarted the Vees win. James Miller took a slap shot from the right point and the puck was deflected off a Salmon Arm stick and past Armitage just 20 seconds into the third.
Less than two minutes later, Cole Shepard made a great pass to the crease for Jack Barnes, who was wide open to shoot the puck into an open net to make it 4-2.
Andre Ghantous capped off the flurry by finding a loose puck in front of Armitage to give the Vees a 5-2 lead. It was his third straight game with a goal dating back to before the Christmas break.
Penticton ran into penalty trouble, getting called just 39 seconds apart shortly after, and the Silverbacks made them pay as Wilson scored his second of the game on a cross-crease pass.
That was as close as Salmon Arm would get as the Vees shut the door, bouncing back nicely from Friday’s disappointing loss with a 5-3 win to reclaim first in the Interior Division. The Vees are now off until Friday when they host the Powell River Kings to the SOEC.