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‘Backs take down the Smoke Eaters 5-1

Salmon Arm, BC – Five different goal scorers got on the board for the ‘Backs, and Matthew Tovell made 30 saves as the Silverbacks took down the Smoke Eaters 5-1.

For the fourth time of the season it was the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (16-14-3-1) and the Trail Smoke Eaters (14-15-1-3) renewing their interior division rivalry. Both teams came into the game looking to snap losing streaks as the ‘Backs had lost their last three games, while the Smoke Eaters were losers of their last five games. Trail came into the game with a two to one lead in the season series; the two squads will meet once more at the beginning of March.

Matthew Tovell (12-12-2-0, 2.85 GAA, .919 S%, 3 SO) got the start for the Silverbacks, while Keegan Maddocks (3-4-0-0, 3.94GAA, .883 S%, 0 S0) got the nod for the Smoke Eaters.

The Smoke Eaters came out in the first period with physicality on their mind. They seemed poised to play the physical side of the puck. The ‘Backs had an early powerplay opportunity as newly acquired Smoke Eater Max Potvin went to the box for an interference call.  It was a low event period until midway through when Liam Steele (2) opened the scoring with a shot from the blueline which was deflected on its way through. The period ended early as linesman Riley Balson took a stick high and had to go off for repairs. The final 3:54 of the period was added on to the second period. Shots in the opening period were 14-13 in favour of Trail.

Period number two kicked off with a slow start as there was a flurry of whistles to halt the play in the period which stopped either side from building momentum. The period proved to be a penalty filled frame as the two teams combined for four man advantages. The ‘Backs were able to double up on their lead just under five minutes in when Isaac Lambert (10) decided to take matters into his own hands. He picked the puck up at the far side half-boards and made a power move towards the net before lifting high and over the shoulder of Maddocks. Later in the period it was Ethan Mann (6) getting the Smoke Eaters on the board to pull it to a one goal game. With just 16 seconds left in the period it was Hayden Stavroff (5) restoring the ‘Backs two goal lead as he deflected home a shot from Brandon Santa Juana. Shots in the period were 13-13.

Salmon Arm continued to apply the pressure as the third period kicked off as Nathan Mackie (18) was able to deflect home a shot from the blueline just 58 seconds into the period to give the ‘Backs a three goal cushion. The powerplay finally struck midway through the period as Brandon Santa Juana (9) was able to elevate the puck from close range to get the Silverbacks up by four. That was enough for the ‘Backs as they cruised home to a 5-1 victory over the Smoke Eaters. Shots in the final frame were 18-4 in favour of the ‘Backs.

Next up for the Silverbacks will be a road matchup in Merritt on January 27th; puck drop will be at 7:00PM from the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. The BCHL All-Star will also be taking place next weekend in Penticton where multiple Silverbacks will be taking part. You can catch the action on Hockey TV.