Playoff recap – March 8

Matt Kowalski’s goal late in triple overtime delivered a 4-3 home victory for the Vernon Vipers that also gave them the best-of-seven series 4-1 over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The teams traded goals in the first, Logan Cash opening the scoring for the home side in the first minute with Trevor Adams responding for Salmon Arm shortly after. In the second, Andy Stevens and Akito Hirose put the Silverbacks up 3-1 but the Vipers got busy early in the third and equalized with goals two minutes apart by Michael Young and Jack Judson.

With the stage set for OT, it turned into a long night with neither side able to score through 40 minutes of extra play. Just one man advantage was awarded when Salmon Arm’s Logan Shaw went off for tripping in the first OT frame but the ‘Backs killed it. It was not until 16:56 of the third that Kowalski was able to score the winner to clinch the series.

Bryce Anderson’s goal at 10:18 of the third period stood up as the winner for the No. 7-seed Trail Smoke Eaters as they completed an upset of the No. 2-seed Merritt Centennials with a 4-2 road win Friday night. Leading the series 3-1 going into Game 5, the visitors got the start they wanted with a goal from Mack Byers in the first and and another from Owen Ozar midway through the second to take a 2-0 lead into the third. Facing elimination, the Cents came out determined in the final frame and got tallies 1:34 apart from Michael Van Unen on the power play and Brad Cocca unassisted to draw even. It remained tied for less than five minutes when Anderson got the winner. Braeden Tuck put the game on ice with an insurance goal at 19:34 of the third.

Jacques Bouquot got all three goals for the Chilliwack Chiefs in a crucial 3-2 overtime win in Game 6 over the Langley Rivermen that forces a Game 7 Sunday back in Chilliwack. Bouquot got the only goal of the first, with just 1:28 remaining in the frame. Langley tied it in the second on a Mark Gallant marker, his eighth of the playoffs, but Bouquot had a quick reply to put the Chiefs up a goal heading to the third. Tanner Versluis tied the game forĀ  Langley on the power play in the third to send the game to OT but the hat trick goal for Bouquot came unassisted at 12:29 of the extra frame.

Parm Dhaliwal set up one goal for the West Kelowna Warriors and then scored the insurance marker giving him nine points in the postseason and helped his club to a 4-2 home win over the Wenatchee Wild that gives the Warriors a 3-2 series lead. Wenatchee’s Murphy Stratton opened the scoring just 63 seconds in on the power player but Garrett Worth replied for the Warriors late in the first. Bennett Norlin put West Kelowna up 2-1 in the second and Lucas Cullen made it a two-goal lead early in the third to chase starter Cal Sandquist. Dhaliwal’s tally made it 4-1 before Nathan Iannone got one back for the Wild. Connor Hopkins made 39 saves for the win. Game 6 is Sunday at 8:05 p.m. in Wenatchee.