Goals were hard to come by Friday in Salmon Arm, as the Penticton Vees and Salmon Arm Silverbacks skated to a 1-1 tie at the Shaw Centre in pre-season action.
The lack of scoring was due in large part to the play of Olivier Mantha and Adam Clark as both goaltenders were terrific. Mantha and Clark battled all night, matching each other save for save.
The Silverbacks manufactured their only goal in the first period on a power-play. Alex Gillies darted off the left-wing wall and roofed a back-hand over the shoulder of Mantha at 7:39.
Mantha, coming off a 22-save shutout Monday, made two eye-popping saves in the first period to keep the Vees within striking distance. Mantha first denied Salmon Arm’s Landon Smith on a breakaway during the Vees first power-play. Shortly after the ‘Backs went ahead, Smith got behind the Vees defense and tried to put a back-hand deke behind Mantha but the Vees netminder lunged out with his glove to take a goal away. Mantha then denied Zach Urban who skated down the wing on a partial breakaway after stepping out of the penalty box. Urban tried to stuff a back past an outstretched Mantha, but he got his right-leg down just in time to keep the puck out.
Adam Clark was frustrating Vees shooters as well, his best stop in the first was jetting out his pad to deny Tyson Jost’s blast from the slot. Clark also made a great right-leg save off Jack Ramsey on a bang-bang play.
The Vees started to turn up the pressure in the second period and were reward just before the seven-minute mark. Brett Beauvais found open ice at the top of the right-circle and pumped a slap-shot through Clark at 6:57. There was some confusion initially, as the referee waved-off the goal to call a penalty. After a conference at centre with all three officials, the call was reversed as the penalty was going to be called on Salmon Arm; all square at one’s.
Both teams had their chances to break the deadlock in the third but both goalies stood tall throughout the frame. The tie keeps the Vees undefeated through four exhibition games, as they wrap-up the pre-season schedule tomorrow at home against the ‘Backs.
The Vees were 0-2 on the power-play; the Silverbacks went 1-3. The Vees and ‘Backs conclude the pre-season at the SOEC on Saturday; puck drop is 6pm