Junior hockey playoffs: Penticton sweeps SilverBacks

The Vees blitzed the ‘Backs for four goals in the first with Ryan Gropp getting a goal and an assist in the frame.

The first team to qualify for the second round is the Penticton Vees after they eliminated the Salmon Arm SilverBacks with a 5-1 win.

The Vees blitzed the ‘Backs for four goals in the first with Ryan Gropp getting a goal and an assist in the frame.

Jedd Soleway made it 5-0 in the second and Ryan Schwalbe got the lone Salmon Arm goal early in the third.

A goal each period from three different scorers enabled the West Kelowna Warriors to take a 3-1 series lead on the Merritt Centennials with a 3-2 win in Game 4.

Matt Anholt opened the scoring shorthanded for the Tribe but Tyler Martin scored 11 seconds later to make it 1-1 after one. The teams traded goals again in the second with Brendan Lamont and Shawn Hochhausen scoring. Reid Simmonds’ goal at 3:52 of the second won it with Tyler Briggs kicking out 38 saves for the win and 1st Star nod.

The winner will play Penticton in the Interior Conference final.

A second-straight win on home ice, a 3-2 victory for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, has forced Game 5 Wednesday night against the Nanaimo Clippers at Frank Crane Arena.

Scoreless after one, Evan Tironese and Manny Gialedakis each scored power-play goals in the second to put the ‘Dogs ahead. Reid Sturos got the Clips on the board at 12:54 of the third but Chase Van Allen restored the two-goal edge for Alberni Valley just 26 seconds later.

Sturos got one in the final minute with the extra attacker on the ice but that’s as close as it would get. Jay Deo made 39 saves to earn 1st Star and the win.

Also forcing a decisive Game 5 were the Prince George Spruce Kings who scored a 5-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs.

The other team advancing to the next round is the Surrey Eagles who finished the Langley Rivermen with a 6-3 road win. Surrey took command with a three-goal second period getting two of Adam Tambellini’s three goals in the frame plus one from Nic Pierog. Surrey will play the winner of the PG-Chilliwack series in Round 2.

There will also be Game 5 in Victoria on Wednesday night after the Grizzlies earned a 5-1 road win over the Powell River Kings.

Wednesday night scores were unavailable at press time.