Vernon, BC: Jesse Lansdell scored a highlight reel goal in the third to tie it and Josh Latta won in overtime as the Vernon Vipers came from behind to defeat Salmon Arm in extra time to even the series at 1.
It was a relatively uneventful period with both teams flexing their defensive muscles. There were just 11 shots combined, but still some quality chances from both sides. Ben Helgeson had a great chance in the first as he gathered his own rebound and wrapped it around just wide on the backhand. The Silverbacks had the games first poweprlay chances, but play started to get chippy and both teams ended up 4 on 4. The short Vipers powerplay didn’t net anything as the physicality continued to ramp up. The Silverbacks pushed late in the frame but Aidan Porter stood tall to keep the period scoreless.
It was more of the same in the second period as neither team really generated a ton of traction in the offense zone. When tested both Porter and Langenegger were up to the challenge. There wasn’t a lot of room to move in the neutral zone in the period that saw just 13 combined shots. The Silverbacks got on the board late in the 2nd as Hudson Schandor snapped home his first of the playoffs to make it 1-0 Backs.
In the third, there seemed to be a sense of urgency on both sides. As the period went on, it looked like the Vipers were finding their stride and their momentum. Landon Fuller and Olson Werenka had a spirited tilt to get the crow into it before Jesse Lansdell drew the Vipers even with a beautiful goal from behind the net to the front, through the legs of the defender and as he was fall snapped it off the post and in. The momentum continued through the remainder of regulation as Ethan Langenegger made a number of big saves to force overtime.
In overtime, a bit of a track meet ensued as both teams went up the ice with good chances. In the end, it was the former Silverback Josh Latta who drove the net down the right win and ripped a shot up high to give the Vipers the 2-1 win and a series split.
The series now switches to Salmon Arm for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Wednesday.