The Silverbacks have now lost back-to-back games to begin the Best-of-7 BCHL Interior division quarter final with the Trail Smoke Eaters. Salmon Arm lost 7-2 on Saturday night in Trail, and the home team doubled the Silverbacks 4-2 on Friday night at the Cominco Arena. The Smoke Eaters opened the scoring early in the first period on Saturday and on the power-play.
Former Silverback Josh Laframboise deposited his second of the series and 27th of season at 2:53 with Max Wutzke penalized for high-sticking. Elijiah Barriga replied at 4:47 with his first of the playoffs and 31st also on the power-play, 1-1. Trail took the lead back and with another power-play marker, as Wutzke received another high-sticking penalty.
Former Silverback Connor Brown-Maloski gave the Smoke Eaters their first lead of the night with his second of the series and 17th at 12:16, 2-1 Trail who took that lead into the second and outshot Salmon Arm 18-14. Laframboise increased the lead to 3-1 just 2:39 into the second with his second of the game, third of the series and 28th. Korbyn Chabot put the home team ahead 4-1 with his first of the playoffs and eighth at 8:04. Carter Cochrane gave Trail a 5-1 lead at 9:59 of the middle frame, the 20-year-old’s first of the post-season and 13th. That goal chased Trevin Kozlowski with 5 goals on 21 shots, and Nic Tallarico got into the game after starting and finishing on Friday.
The Smoke Eaters then scored their second short-handed goal in as many nights, 6-1 with Ross Armour’s first of the series and 16th at 14:12. Jared Turcotte had the Silverbacks second goal and finished the scoring in the second period with his first of the playoffs and 14th at 14:42.
The Silverbacks outshot Trail 15-5 in the second but trailed 6-2 into the third. The Smoke Eaters final goal of the game came on the power-play at 6:46, 7-2 with Mitchell Barker’s first of the series and 12th as Josh Latta was penalized for tripping. Trail lead 8-7 on the shot clock in the third but the Silverbacks outshot the Smoke Eaters 36-31 total. Linden Marshall earned his second straight playoff win in goal for Trail.
The Silverbacks had affiliate forwards Daniel Fisher and Brett Didyk in the lineup in Trail, as well as defenseman Michael Lenoury on Saturday night. Salmon Arm finished 2-for-9 on the power-play and 2-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
Salmon Arm trails 2 games to none but, the Best-of-7 now moves into the Shuswap as the Silverbacks will host Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and each 7pm starts at the Shaw Centre. Games 5, 6 and 7 if needed are set for March 10th, 11th, 12th with Saturday the 11th a 7pm face-off in Salmon Arm.
The Merritt Centennials have taken a 2-0 series lead over the West Kelowna Warriors and on the road. The Cents won 5-4 in overtime on Saturday in West Kelowna, and Merritt opened with 6-5 victory on Friday in the Okanagan. That Best-of-7 series will resume in the Nicola Valley on Monday and Tuesday at 7pm.