The Silverbacks (16-20-1-2) will host the Trail Smoke Eaters (18-18-0-4) tonight at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm at 7pm. Saturday’s game is the back half of a home-and-home set which began last night in Trail, where the Silverbacks skated to a 6-3 victory.
Trail opened the scoring at 14:09 of the opening period. But the Silverbacks tied the game 1-1 and took the lead with just over five minutes remaining in the first period. Elijiah Barriga’s 19th at 14:52 and Josh Blanchard’s eighth at 18:12 put the visitors ahead 2-1 into the second period. Trail outshot Salmon Arm 20-14.
The Silverbacks outscored the Smoke Eaters 2-1 in the middle frame and went ahead 4-2 into the third. Trail tied the game 2-2 at 6:27 of the second, but Barriga’s second of the night and 20th put the visitors back in front 3-2. Carter Cochrane increased the lead to 4-2 in the final minute, his eighth and unassisted at 19:27. Trail outshot Salmon Arm 15-6 in the second period.
Trail got back within one, 4-3 early in the final period as Andre Ghantous potted his second of the game and fifth at 3:16. The Silverbacks finished the scoring with back-to-back goals into an empty Smoke Eaters net. Mitch Skapski’s 14th at 18:59 and Justin Wilson’s ninth at 19:41. Each team had 11 shots on goal in the third, Trail outshot Salmon Arm 46-31. Nic Tallarico made 43 saves, while Linden Marshall was relieved after 40 minutes by former Silverback Zach Dyment who didn’t allow a goal in his 20 minutes of work. The Silverbacks power-play was 0-for-1 and the penalty-kill finished 6-for-6. Nathan Iannone dropped the gloves with Jonas Gordon of the Smoke Eaters at 14:07 of the second period.
Salmon Arm was without forwards Carson Bolduc, Conner Sundquist and Hayden Hopkins who all missed the trip due to injury. Affiliate forward Colten Thomas got back into the lineup.
Salmon Arm has now won two of the first five meetings in the seven game regular season series. The Silverbacks won 7-2 at home over Trail on December 3rd, Salmon Arm lost 10-3 in Trail on November 8th, the Silverbacks fell 4-2 in Trail on October 28th, and Salmon Arm lost 4-1 in the West Kootenay on October 12th. The final meeting of the regular season series is set for Tuesday, February 7th at the Shaw Centre at 7pm.
Just three of the Silverbacks nine games in January will be away from Salmon Arm, with a home ice record of 5-10-1-1 and 13-12-1-1 in the Interior. The Smoke Eaters are 8-11-0-3 in the Interior and 8-10-0-3 on the road.