Backs win both games this weekend

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The Silverbacks (10-14-0-0) won 5-4 in double overtime on Saturday night at home over the Merritt Centennials (8-11-1-4).

The third home ice victory of the season came less than 24 hours after the Silverbacks got back into the win column with a 3-2 victory over the Cents in the Nicola Valley on Friday.

The Centennials opened the scoring on Saturday, just 1:04 into the game. Ryley Hayles got the home team on the board with his third of the season and on the power-play at 2:11. Merritt took the lead back at 3:20 of the first frame and 3-1 Centennials at 17:39. The Cents outshot the Silverbacks 20-17 in the opening period.

Salmon Arm scored the only goals of the second period and tied the game 3-3. Carson Bolduc’s second of the weekend and 8th of the season, a power-play goal at 7:52. And defenseman Riley Hayles tied the game at 14:07, the fourth of the season for the first season Silverback.

The Silverbacks outshot Merritt 20-11 in the middle period. The home team took its first lead of the night at 16:30 of the third, Josh Blanchard’s third of the season put the Silverbacks ahead 4-3. But with less than five seconds remaining in regulation and with Bolduc off for cross-checking, the visitors tied the game 4-4 at 19:55.

Mitch Skapski then ended the game just 1:08 into double OT, a power-play marker for the captain who deposited his second of the weekend and ninth of the season. Salmon Arm outshot Merritt 11-9 in the third. And 4-2 Silverbacks on the shot clock in 4-on-4 overtime, 2-1 Centennials in 3-on-3 OT.

The Silverbacks outshot the Centennials 53-44, as Trevin Kozlowski made 40 saves. The power-play finished 3-for-6 on Saturday, while the penalty-kill was 3-for-4.

Bolduc, Skapski, and Elijiah Barriga each finished with one goal and two assists this weekend. Barriga leads the team with 29 points, 11 goals in 24 games.

Salmon Arm end ended a four game home ice losing skid on Saturday, and the Silverbacks now have three wins and seven losses in their first 10 games at the Shaw Centre.

The Silverbacks handed the Centennials their ninth consecutive loss on Saturday, and tied the season series at 2-2. Merritt won 4-3 in Salmon Arm on Tuesday, October 18th, and the Centennials won 5-2 at the Shaw Centre on Friday, September 30th in the season series opener. The Silverbacks will visit Merritt again at the end of this month on Friday, November 25th.

Brandon Kegler sat out on Saturday after leaving the crease in the second intermission on Friday in Merritt. Josh Latta and Julian Timba each remain out with upper body injuries.

Darrell Hay and Brooks Christensen earned back-to-back victories behind the bench this weekend. Brandon West was relieved of his head coaching duties on Wednesday morning.

Salmon Arm will be in action on Thursday, November 17th on the road at the Surrey Eagles (8-12-0-2).

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