Three times the Vernon Vipers took a lead against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the Shuswap Saturday, Oct. 17.
Three times the Gorillas tied the contest.
The fourth Vernon lead, however, turned into two points for the visitors.
JoJo Tanaka-Campbell’s goal at 2:38 of overtime gave the Snakes a 4-3 B.C. Hockey League Okanagan Cup tournament game at the Shaw Centre, and a weekend sweep of a home-and-home series between the two rivals.
Vernon beat Salmon Arm 5-2 Friday, Oct. 16, at Kal Tire Place.
The Vipers opened the scoring for the second straight game as Ethan Mercer scored off a one-timer from the right circle. With 1:47 remaining, 17-year-old Silverback forward Noah Serdachny tied the game after going to the net and directing home a pass from Danny Ciccarello for his first goal in the BCHL.
In the second period, special teams were the focal point and more specifically a positive as newly acquired Will Arquiett sniped his first goal with his new team after a nice feed from Reagan Milburn on the powerplay. Arquiett was acquired earlier in the week from the Cowichan Valley Capitals for Brett Fudger and Colbe Feist. The Vipers’ penalty kill was strong killing off both Salmon Arm powerplays.
The ‘Backs were persistent and evened the game up just past the halfway mark of the game. Daniel Panetta would deposit his first in the BCHL. Carter Loney saw Panetta making a beeline for the net on an odd-man rush and fed him a beautiful pass, which Panetta took in stride and finished on the forehand.
In the third, the Vipers took another lead 38 seconds into the frame as Kjell Kjemhus tipped home his second of the exhibition schedule past Salmon Arm goalie Liam Vanderkooi to make it 3-2.
Once again, however, Salmon Arm would even the score, after Loney fired a shot from a bad angle and then followed it up at the side of the net and whacked it just past the goal line behind Vipers goalie Kobe Grant.
Vanderkooi finished with 37 saves while Grant made 22 stops for the win.
Salmon Arm also made a trade with the Capitals during the week, sending forwards Ronan Walsh and Sam Schofield to Duncan for forward Nathan Morgan, who played both games for the Gorillas, scoring once Friday.
The Caps had acquired Morgan from the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Grande Prairie Storm.
Vernon improved to 2-4 in the Okanagan Cup standings while the Silverbacks fell to 1-4-0-1. The Penticton Vees remained perfect at 8-0 after sweeping the West Kelowna Warriors 7-3 in West Kelowna Friday, and 6-0 in Penticton Saturday.
The Warriors are 3-4-0-1.
Vernon hosts West Kelowna Friday and visits the Warriors Saturday. Salmon Arm visits Penticton Friday before returning to host the Vees Saturday at the Shaw Centre.