West Kelowna Warriors erase a three goal deficit, beating the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7-6 in a shootout

Warriors win wild affair

It was a wild night in the old barn in Vernon Saturday night.

In a game they never led until the final puck went into the net, the West Kelowna Warriors stormed back from an early 3-0 deficit to beat the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7-6 in a shootout at Kal Tire Place.

It was the final game of the shortened 20-game season for the Silverbacks, while the Warriors have one more game remaining.

Salmon Arm jumped all over the Warriors early, getting a shorthanded goal from Simon Tassy and a pair of even strength goals to take a 3-0 lead by the 11 minute mark of the opening period.

Usually, 2-0 leads are the worst leads in hockey but, on this night, no lead was safe.

So, cue the comeback, as the Warriors and Silverbacks combined for four goals over a three minute span, three by West Kelowna, to pull them to within a goal at 4-3 after the opening 20 minutes.

On two occasions, Salmon Arm built the lead back to two in the middle frame but, both time, the Warriors pulled to within one.

Marcus Joughin, with his second of the night 5:25 into the third on a power play, pulled the Warriors even.

It stayed that way for the rest of the third and overtime.

Carter Wilkie played the role of hero. In the penultimate game of his junior career, Wilkie scored the lone goal of the shootout giving the Warriors the wild come-from-behind victory.

Joughin led the way offensively for the Warriors. He had two assists to go along with his two goals.

Tyson Jugnauth had a goal and two helpers while Carter Schmidt and captain Elan Bar Lev Wise each had a goal and an assist. Wilkie also scored a goal in regulation time.

Head coach Simon Ferguson credited many of the veterans with helping to spark Saturday's comeback.

"I thought our first period was the result of our practice. We didn't really come out to compete in practice, and it bled into it a little bit," said Ferguson.

"Credit to the guys in there, the older guys and the leadership. They found a way to turn that switch on and go."

Zach Bennett started the game for the Warriors, but was lifted after surrendering the fourth goal late in the first.

Johnny Derrick went the rest of the way, allowing just two goals for the victory.

The Warriors will close out the season Sunday afternoon against the Vernon Vipers.

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