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OT loss ends Spruce Kings season as Silverbacks sweep series

Vicki Brown photo

With their backs against the wall, the Spruce Kings left it all out on the ice Wednesday as Game 4 saw nearly five complete periods played. However, it was the Salmon Arm Silverbacks coming up with the 2-1 victory to complete the series sweep and move on to the second round of the Shaw BCHL Playoffs.

Game 4 proved to be a goaltender battle as Matthew Tovell stopped 39 of 40 shots put on him by the Spruce Kings. Meanwhile, Jordan Fairlie turned aside 47 of 49 shots in what would be his final game of junior hockey.

In the first period, the Silverbacks opened the scoring early. Mathieu Bourgault scored his first of the playoffs to put Salmon Arm ahead 1-0. Liam Steele earned his first assist of the postseason on the play at 3:25 of the opening period.

The Spruce Kings battled back to take some of the momentum ahead of the midway mark of the period with a series of scoring chances. With their foot on the gas, the Spruce Kings forced a turnover just as the Silverbacks entered the offensive zone, sparking a four-on-two opportunity back the other way. Kai Greaves connected with Evan Fedele for the breakout pass and the 19-year-old forward put the puck in past Matthew Tovell to even the score.

The score stood at 1-1 through the duration of the game, forcing the game to go into extra time. One overtime period wouldn’t do it, taking the game into a second overtime frame. That was when the Silverbacks came up with the winning opportunity. Coming off of another scoring opportunity, Ryan Gillespie collected a rebound from Fairlie and found CJ Foley at the high slot. The Silverbacks eyed up the shot and sniped the puck past the Spruce Kings goalie to put the series away and complete the sweep.

With the loss, the Spruce Kings have been eliminated from the BCHL Playoffs.


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