After securing their seventh Interior division title with a 5-1 win over the Wenatchee Wild Saturday, the Penticton Vees (40-12-3-3) took a 5-4 overtime loss to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (25-29-3-1) at the South Okanagan Events Centre to wrap up the 2017-18 regular season.
The Vees Lukas Sillinger opened the scoring just over the halfway mark of the first, jumping on a loose puck in the crease, but Salmon Arm wasn’t in any mood to give up early and responded with two goals before the end of the period.
Salmon Arm evened the game late in the period just as a power play had expired. Brandon Whistle saw a rebound come off Vees goalie Nolan Hildebrand’s right pad and slid it into the net with 2:17 left in the frame.
Just 36 seconds later, the Silverbacks took the lead as Hildebrand tried to backhand the puck behind his net, but didn’t get enough on it. Justin Wilson intercepted it and threw it to the front of the goal where Grayson Constable put it into the open net.
The Vees nearly tied it up again in the dying seconds of the first, but Kyle Dumba made a sprawling save on a shot from Chris Klack to keep it 2-1 Silverbacks after one.
After a few dull minutes to open the second, Penticton tied the game after Jonny Tychonick’s shot from the blue line sailed wide. It bounced off the end wall and Wyatt Sloboshan looked to get a piece but missed, but so did Dumba as he tried to swipe it away. The puck came right to Owen Sillinger who fired home his 33rd of the year nearly eight minutes into the period.
With the game tied at two after two, the Vees got an early power play chance in the third. Nicky Leivermann made the Silverbacks pay as his wrist shot from the slot went right into the top corner over Dumba’s glove for Leivermann’s 10th of the year.
Four minutes later, Massimo Rizzo extended Penticton’s lead with a highlight reel goal. Flying down the left wing, Rizzo cut around the defender, to the net and roofed the shot over Dumba’s glove for his 13th of the year to make it 4-2 Vees with seven minutes gone in the third.
The Silverbacks didn’t quit and got a power-play goal of their own after Whistle tipped in his second of the game just over the halfway mark of the third.
With just over five minutes to play, Salmon Arm tied the game after Tanner Campbell took a feed off the rush as the trailer and beat Hildebrand blocker side.
After one overtime solved nothing, the two teams went to double overtime before Keane was called for tripping. After working the puck around the Vees zone, the Silverbacks went right circle to left and Campbell was able to beat Hildebrand five-hole to end the game.
The Vees now get set for the postseason as they host the Coquitlam Express for game one at the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday at 7 p.m.