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Shaw BCHL Playoff Recap: Apr. 21

Photo credit: Garrett James Photography

Salmon Arm Silverbacks – 4
Vernon Vipers – 3 (OT)

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are moving on to the Interior Conference Finals for the first time since 2011 after a 4-3 overtime win over the Vernon Vipers in Game 5 to win the series 4-1. Lee Parks got Vernon on the board to start, marking the first time in the series they scored the first goal of the game, but the lead did not last long as Hayden Stavroff replied just over a minute later and Maddux Martin gave the Silverbacks the lead before the end of the frame. As they have done all series long, the Vipers battled back from behind, getting goals from Julian Facchinelli and Dylan Compton in the second to take a 3-2 lead, but Nic Leggett scored his first BCHL goal to tie the game in the third and send it overtime. In OT, Mathieu Bourgault, who missed most of the regular season with an injury, scored on a wraparound just 25 seconds in to send the Shaw Centre into a frenzy and clinch the series for Salmon Arm. The Silverbacks will play the Penticton Vees in the Interior Conference Finals, with Game 1 in Penticton next week.

Surrey Eagles – 3
Alberni Valley Bulldogs – 2

The closest of the three second round matchups stayed that way in Game 5 with the Surrey Eagles edging the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 3-2 to take a one game series lead. Ethan Riesterer and Ante Zlomislic scored first period goals for the Eagles, while Matt Kursonis, Wednesday’s overtime hero, got the Bulldogs on the board to make it 2-1 at intermission. Zachary Wagnon extended Surrey’s lead to two goals in the second, but Will Elger’s third of the postseason made it 3-2 heading into the third. That’s when Eagles goalie Michael Sochan took over, making 20 saves in the final frame to preserve the lead and give his team the win. He finished with 36 saves in total and was named first star of the game. The two teams meet again in Game 6 on Sunday in Port Alberni with the Bulldogs looking to force a Game 7.

Nanaimo Clippers – 3
Chilliwack Chiefs – 1

Jérémie Payant had a goal and two assists and Shane Shelest stopped 36 of 37 shots as the Nanaimo Clippers extended their season once again by beating the Chilliwack Chiefs 3-1 in Game 5 of their second round series. The Chiefs scored first in this contest when Michael La Starza buried his fourth of the postseason in the first period, but the Clippers answered back just 32 seconds later when Joel Plante got his first and it was tied 1-1 at intermission. Payant’s shorthanded goal in the middle frame, his second of the postseason scored while a man down, stood up as the game winner and Ethan Mistry’s empty netter with a second left was the icing on the cake. The Chiefs have a chance to clinch the series for a third time back at home in Game 6 on Sunday.