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Carter Oakenfold scored the game winner in OT as Warriors edge Salmon Arm 5-4

Warriors even series in OT

The officials were not going to take this one away from Carter Oakenfold.

The Calgary native powered to the net off the left wing and slid the puck into the corner past Eli Pulver 2:09 into overtime giving the Warriors a 5-4 victory over the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks to even their best-of-seven series at a game apiece.

The play was very similar to a goal called off in Cranbrook when he was deemed to have made contact with the goaltender. No such contact Saturday.

"I think that one in Cranbrook...just not my luck on that one," said Oakenfold.

"Tonight a puck turned over at the blue line, saw myself and the goal and just made a move and was able to bury it. It's a nice time to get my first."

A nice time indeed after the team was soundly beaten 6-1 in game one and needed a win in the worst way to avoid going down 2-0 with the next two games in Salmon Arm.

"At home we needed to get at least one here and getting that one in OT sets us up," he added. "We're going to battle the next two in Salmon Arm."

Coming off a dominant performance Friday, it was the Silverbacks who struck first when Nathan Mackie tipped home a point shot just 25 seconds into the game.

Despite the early goal it was the Warriors who controlled much of the play during the opening period but had nothing to show for it.

The kept up the pressure in the second and were finally rewarded when Jackson Kyrkostas buried a rebound from the side of the net early in the period on their 20th shot of the game.

Silverbacks forward Ryan Gillespie was injured on the play after taking a hard hit along the end boards in the Warriors end. He was unable to get off the ice before Kyrkostas' goal.

Warriors defenceman Sean Keohane left soon after favouring his left foot.

Neither player returned to the game.

Jack Pridham gave the Warriors their first lead of the series midway through the period with a backdoor one-timer on a sequence in which the Silverbacks complained the Warriors should have been called for too many men on the ice.

JJ Monteiro tipped in a point shot for his first of two before new penalty killing specialist Viggo Nordström went to work again.

Nordström picked up a loose puck, streaked down the right wing, cut to the middle and wired a shot off the near post behind Pulver.

It was Nordström's fifth of the post season and third shorthanded.

"I probably should have played him more in the regular season on the penalty kill," said head coach Simon Ferguson.

"He told me at the beginning of the year he never really did it so I didn't get him in there. Now looking at numbers and where we're at we give him a shot and he just keeps doing a great job with it."

Ferguson says it's mostly instinctive about getting chances on the penalty kill but honestly he says, most times as a coach you just want to get the penalty killed.

"But we'll take (goals) when we get them."

Nordstrom now has as many goals in eight playoff games (5) as he did in 53 regular season games.

Pridham notched his second of the night and playoff leading seventh seven minutes into the third but the Silverbacks came back with goals from Cole Cooksey then Monteiro on a rebound on the power play to tie it and force overtime.

Oakenfold took care of the rest.

"I liked the way we played for about 40 or 50 minutes," said Ferguson.

"Obviously they pushed a little bit there and got a couple of fortunate plays. I didn't love that but I loved the response. We never quit."

The Warriors outshot Salmon Arm 42-24 on the evening.

The series now shifts to Salmon Arm for games three and four Tuesday and Wednesday.

The series is guaranteed to go at least five games with game five set for Royal LePage Place next Friday night.



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