The Silverbacks are into the win column in the first round Best-of-7 Interior Division matchup with the Trail Smoke Eaters, as Salmon Arm staved off elimination and won 6-4 at home over the Smoke Eaters last night at the Shaw Centre.
Trail leads 3 games to 1 with Game 5 set for tomorrow night at the Cominco Arena in downtown Trail at 730pm. The Smoke Eaters opened the scoring in the first period on Wednesday, Blaine Caton’s first of the playoffs at 14:03. But the Silverbacks responded with back-to-back goals. Nathan Iannone fired home his second of the series at 15:12, 1-1. And Carson Bolduc’s third put Salmon Arm ahead 2-1 at 17:19, a power-play goal with Korbyn Chabot off for roughing.
The Silverbacks lead 2-1 into the second period and outshot the Smoke Eaters 9-7. Ryan Hogg’s first of playoffs put the home team ahead 3-1 at 12:42 of the second period, a power-play marker with former Silverback Carter Cochrane penalized for high-sticking. Trail got back within one at 17:17, 3-2 with Luke Santerno’s second and on the man-advantage as Elijiah Barriga was in the box for unsportsmanlike diving. Salmon Arm lead 3-2 after 40 minutes and outshot the Smoke Eaters 15-9. The two teams combined for 5 goals in the third. Silverbacks affiliate forward Colton Thomas potted his first BCHL playoff goal and 4-2 Salmon Arm at 3:25. But former Silverback Connor Brown-Maloski responded for Trail with his fourth of the series at 10:22 and cut the lead to 4-3.
Josh Latta put Salmon Arm ahead 5-3 with his second of the post-season at 10:39. But Santerno answered for the Smoke Eaters with his second of the game and third of the series at 15:05, 5-4 Silverbacks. Latta then finished the game with a breakaway goal at 17:29, his second of the night and third of the series. Trail lead 19-5 on the shot clock in the third and 35-29 Smoke Eaters total. Nic Tallarico earned his first win of the playoffs, making 34 saves. Linden Marshall suffered his first loss of the post-season, stopping 23 in goal for Trail. The Silverbacks finished 2-for-5 on the power-play, and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
Trail opened the series with 4-2 and 7-2 victories last Friday and Saturday in the West Kootenay. The Smoke Eaters took a 3-0 series stranglehold with a 4-3 win on Tuesday at the Shaw Centre.
Games 6 and 7 if needed are set for Saturday and Sunday of this weekend. Game 6 would be Saturday night in Salmon Arm and a 7pm face-off at the Shaw Centre.