TRAIL, B.C. MARCH 3rd, 2017
The Silverbacks and Trail Smoke Eaters will meet tonight in the West Kootenay at 7pm, less than 24 hours after Salmon Arm fell 4-2 in front of a crowd of more than 2-thousand in downtown Trail in Game 1 of the Best-of-7 Round 1 Interior division quarter-final.
The visitors opened the scoring on Friday and on the power-play courtesy of Nathan Iannone with his first of the playoffs and third of the season at 4:52 of the first period. The Silverbacks took that 1-0 lead into the second period, the opening period included 9 minor penalties. Trail lead 11-8 on the shot clock in the first 20 minutes. The home team scored twice in the middle frame, Luke Santerno’s first of the post-season and 34th at 5:08 and Trail went ahead 2-1 with it’s first lead of the game at 7:31 as Smoke Eaters captain and former Silverback Connor Brown-Maloski potted his 16th and first of the playoffs at 7:31.
Trail outshot the Silverbacks 11-8 and lead 2-1 into the third. The Smoke Eaters increased their lead to 3-1 at 4:01 of the third, Kale Howarth’s 31st of the season and first of the post-season. Former Silverback Josh Laframboise scored his 26th and first of the playoffs with Nic Tallarico on the bench at 19:53. But with less than 7 seconds remaining, Carson Bolduc finished the scoring with his 20th and first of the playoffs at 19:53.
The Silverbacks lead 13-7 on the shot clock in the final period, 29-29 total. Linden Marshall stopped 27 of 29 shots in the win. Salmon Arm’s power-play was 1-for-4, and the penalty-kill was 4-for-4. Friday’s loss was the first for the Silverbacks since the 15th of February, 4-3 at home to the Warriors. Merritt won 6-5 in West Kelowna in the other Interior series which opened on Friday.
Former Silverbacks Josh Laframboise and Carter Cochrane were dealt to Trail earlier in 2016-2017, as well as Smoke Eaters captain Connor Brown-Maloski and goaltender Zach Dyment are also former Silverbacks. Cochrane assisted on the 2 Trail goals in the second period on Friday. The Silverbacks have affiliate forwards Dan Fisher and Brett Didyk in the lineup this weekend.
The 18-year-old Fisher out of Calgary, AB played in 6 Silverbacks regular season games, and had his KIJHL season with the Revelstoke Grizzlies end on Thursday night with a Game 5 loss at the Chase Heat. The 17-year-old Didyk is with the Vancouver North East Chiefs in the BC Major Midget League, and played in 4 regular season games with Salmon Arm.
The Smoke Eaters finished alone in third in the Interior regular season standings, with a record of 26-26-1-5 and just 4 points ahead of Salmon Arm. The Silverbacks won 2 of the 7 regular season meetings with the Smoke Eaters who outscored Salmon Arm 29-22. The Silverbacks won 6-3 in Trail on January 6th and 7-2 at home over the Smoke Eaters on December 3rd.
The division rivals finished the season series with a 1-1 tie at the Shaw Centre on February 7th. The Smoke Eaters won 5-2 in Salmon Arm on January 7th, Trail won 10-3 at home over the Silverbacks on November 8th, the Smoke Eaters doubled Salmon Arm 4-2 in Trail on October 28th, and Trail opened the season series with a 4-1 victory in the West Kootenay on October 11th.
The top 2 teams in the Interior, the Penticton Vees who finished with a record of 41-13-1-3 and the Vernon Vipers at 30-19-4-5 each receive a first round playoff bye, as the opening round in the Interior will feature the third ranked team versus the sixth and fourth versus fifth.
The Best-of-7, Round 1 series will shift into the Shuswap next week for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 7th and 8th and each 7pm starts at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. Games 5, 6 and 7 if needed are set for March 10th, 11th, 12th with Saturday the 11th a 7pm face-off at the Shaw Centre.
Each Silverbacks game is webcast PPV at www.hockeytv.com Each road game is broadcast live via the www.voiceoftheshuswap.ca CKVS 93.7 FM, as well as Salmon Arm community radio will also broadcast each Silverbacks playoff home game. Tune into Salmon Arm community radio each Monday at 7pm, Tuesday at 7am for 30 minutes or more Silverbacks hockey talk.