Akito Hirose’s second-period goal was the winner and Nic Tallarico made 27 saves for the shutout in a 4-0 Salmon Arm Silverbacks home win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs that secures the ‘Backs spot in the BCHL playoffs.
After a scoreless first, Hirose converted from Carson Bolduc and Elijiah Barriga for the winner. It remained 1-0 until Nathan Iannone added insurance at 9:00 of the third. Empty-net goals from Justin Wilson and Connor Sundquist to put the game on ice.
Tallarico was named 1st Star for his second shutout of the season while Brody Claeys made 34 saves for the Bulldogs. By failing to pick up a point from the game, Alberni Valley was eliminated from postseason contention.
A three-goal first period for the Victoria Grizzlies was enough on the way to a 4-2 road win over the Vernon Vipers. TJ Friedmann, Cody Van Lierop and Keyvan Mokhtari all tallied in the first to put the Grizz in command. The second period was scoreless but in the third, the Vipers got goals from Ryan Brushett and Brett Stapley to get within a goal but Nathan Looysen clinched it for Victoria with an empty-net goal. Matthew Galajda made 35 saves for the win.
Tristan Mullin scored twice for the Powell River Kings in a 5-1 home win over the Nanaimo Clippers. Ben Solin got the visitors on the board first with the only goal of the opening frame. Mullin tied it in the second and Cam Donaldson’s goal that followed was the winner. Jonny Evans made it 3-1 going to the third and in the final frame, Josh Coblenz (empty net) and Mullin tacked on more insurance. Nanaimo clinched a playoff spot anyway by virtue of Alberni Valley’s loss in Salmon Arm.
Mat Robson made all 26 saves for the Penticton Vees, posting his fifth shutout of the season, in a 5-0 home win over the West Kelowna Warriors. Ty Amonte and Nic Jones scored in the first, Duncan Campbell shorthanded in the second and Grant Cruikshank and Ty Amonte rounded out the scoring in the third.
The Trail Smoke Eaters scored four goals in the second and three more in the third, helping themselves to a wild 8-5 home win over the Merritt Centennials. The visitors led 3-1 after one on goals by Stephen Seeger, Brett Jewell and Nicholas Wicks with Korbyn Chabot getting his first of two for Trail in the opening frame. Connor Brown-Maloski and Zach Court traded goals less than a minute apart in the second before Trail got three in a row from Jeremy Lucchini, Blaine Caton and Andre Ghantous to make it 5-4 Smokies going to the third. Zach Risteau tied the game early in the third but Trail added goals from Caton, Chabot and an empty-net goal by Braeden Tuck to claim the win.
A four-goal first period for the Wenatchee Wild paved the way to a 10-2 home win over the Langley Rivermen. Colin Burston, Brendan Harris, Troy Conzoe and Logan Milliken tallied in the opening frame to give the Wild all they’d need. Langley got their two goal in short order near the end of the first with Angus Crookshank and Gavin Payne scoring but that’s all Langley would get on the night. Brian Williams got a pair in the second plus one from Charlie Combs and in the third, it was AJ Vanderbeck, Burston and Slava Demin rounding out the scoring.