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Silverbacks take game one with 2-1 win over Spruce Kings

Chris Fowler photo

SALMON ARM – The Prince George Spruce Kings dropped the opening game of the opening round playoff series against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks following a 2-1 final at the Shaw Centre Friday night.

In what was a goaltender duel between Prince George’s Jordan Fairlie and Salmon Arm’s Matthew Tovell, it was the Silverbacks’ netminder getting the upper hand as he stopped 34 of 35 shots for the night. Meanwhile, Fairlie was kept busy early, facing 15 shots through the first 20 minutes of play. He’d finish the night stopping 33 of 35 shots.

Early in the game, an odd bounce of the end board caught Tovell out of position behind the net as he tried to anticipate the puck. Instead, the puck slid right in front of the wide-open net, however, the Spruce Kings were unable to capitalize on the early Silverbacks mishap.

Salmon Arm opened the scoring in the second period. On a four-on-three powerplay, Ethan Ullrick put the puck in past Fairlie to take the lead for the Silverbacks. CJ Foley and Owen Beckner earned assists on the play.

Past the midway mark of the middle frame, John Herrington carried the puck in past the Salmon Arm blueline and sniped the puck far-side corner on Tovell to match the Silverbacks’ score. Linden Makow assisted the play.

The game remained tied heading into the third period.

At 4:25 into the final period, Isaac Lambert came up with the game-winning goal to make it 2-1 for the Silverbacks as they went and held on for the win. The Spruce Kings put everything they had onto Tovell, outshooting the Silverbacks 15-7 in the final period.

Winning 2-1, Salmon Arm takes a 1-0 series lead into Game 2 on Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm before the series heads north to Prince George for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday (April 4) and Wednesday.

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