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Kowalski Scores Twice, Pushes Backs to the Brink

Salmon Arm, BC:  Matt Kowalski scored a pair of goals and Aidan Porter was sharp stopping 24 of 25 shots as the Vernon Vipers pushed the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to the brink of elimination with a 2-1 win at the Shaw Centre.

The Vipers wanted to get out to a quick start and were able to do that as Matt Kowalski converted on a near carbon copy of the OT winner from the game before to give the Vipers a 1-0 lead.  The Vipers peppered the Salmon Arm goal continuously throughout the period.  Some of that came from their powerplay which looked dialed in, but as it he has all series long, Ethan Langenegger was up to the challenge.  At one point Salmon Arm just had one shot in the first 12 minutes.  The period would end with the Vipers ahead 1-0 and leading 17-6 in shots.

In the second, the Vipers got themselves in a bit of penalty trouble, but their penalty kill was strong not allowing too many quality chances.  The Vipers powerplay had just one opportunity in the period, but executed well as Michael Young set up Kowalski for a re-direct in front of the net to make it 2-0.  The physicality was on display throughout the game as both teams tried to set the tone.  A late flurry from the Silverbacks didn’t net anything and the Vipers took the 2-0 lead into the dressing room after 2.

The Vipers did a nice job in the third period of frustrating the Silverbacks offense.  The Silverbacks did break the goose egg as Andy Stevens sniped his 2nd of the playoffs to make it 2-1.  Salmon Arm then went into a full court press but had issues setting up in the offensive zone.  They would finally get Langenegger to the bench for the extra attacker, but a late penalty to Justin Wilson all but sealed the fate of the Backs as the horn sounded in a 2-1 Vipers win.

Here’s the scoring summary:

1ST PERIOD

VER – Matt Kowalski (1) – Ben Sanderson (1), Carver Watson (2) – 1:25

2ND PERIOD

VER – Matt Kowalski (2) – Michael Young (2), Jack Judson (1) – 5:56 (PPG)

3RD PERIOD

SA – Andy Stevens (2) – Sol Seibel (1) – 14:52

The Vipers now head home for a crucial game 5 at Kal Tire Place on Friday night at 7pm leading the series 3 games to 1.