Salmon Arm, BC – For the fifth and final time on the season, it was the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (25-16-4-1) and the Trail Smoke Eaters (17-23-3-3) squaring off in an Interior Conference Showdown. The two teams had split the first four games of the season set with two wins a piece. The ‘Backs came into the contest winners of their last two, and five of their last six. While the Smoke Eaters were aiming to get back into the win column after they dropped their last two games to West Kelowna and Vernon.
Matthew Tovell (20-14-3-0, 2.54 GAA, .924 S%, 4 SO) got his 10th straight start for the Silverbacks, while Keegan Maddocks (3-7-0-0, 4.19 GAA, .881 S%, 0 SO) got the nod for the Smoke Eaters.
The Smoke Eaters got out to a perfect start on the road as Jordan Hendry (5) got the Smokies on the board just 21 seconds into the game as he was the recipient of a nice feed from Brady Hunter that was slid across the blue paint to give Hendry a tap in to open the scoring. Salmon Arm was able to fight right back, as they earned the games first man advantage as Josh Schenk went to the box for a high-sticking call as he got the stick up in the face of Nathan Mackie. On the ensuing man-advantage, it was the Captain, Nathan Mackie (25) extending his point streak and tying things up for the Silverbacks just 21 seconds into the powerplay. The ‘Backs continued to apply the pressure as the period progressed, and fired multiple shots towards the net of Keegan Maddocks. In the later stages of the opening frame, it was Raoul Boilard (10) finishing off a nice passing play with Jules Bollard and Maddux Martin to give the Silverbacks their first lead of the game. Shots in the opening period were 17-7 in favour of Salmon Arm.
Salmon Arm was hoping to build on the momentum that they picked up in the opening period of play as they kicked off the middle frame with a third powerplay opportunity. The Smoke Eaters were able to kill off the penalty to Judah Makway as he sat for a two minute hooking call. Shortly after the penalty kill from Trail, it was Casy Laylin (3) jamming home a rebound to extend the Silverbacks to two goals. The fast pace to the game continued in the middle frame as there was very few stoppages in the period. The Smoke Eaters went to the penalty kill once again late in the period as Anthony Domina went to the box for a tripping call. Salmon Arm was able to capitalize on the ensuing powerplay as they held offensive puck possession for the entirty of the man-advantage. It was Casy Laylin (4) notching his second of the period to give the ‘Backs their second powerplay marker, and extending their lead to three goals. Shots in the middle frame were 15-7 in favour of Salmon Arm.
Period number three continued with it’s high pace on the rare Wednesday clash at the Shaw Centre. Trail came into the period looking to get back into the game, as they entered the period trailing by three goals. The ‘Backs went to the penalty kill for the first time in the game when Isaac Lambert took a a two minute roughing call. Just 32 seconds into the ensuing powerplay, it was former Silverback, Mathieu Cobetto-Roy (11) tapping home a powerplay marker on a slick feed from Brady Hunter to pull the Smoke Eaters within two. That was as close as they were able to get as Nathan Mackie (26) added an empty netter to restore their three goal lead. The Silverbacks took down the Smoke Eaters 5-2, and took the season series three games to two.
Next up for the Silverbacks will be Saturday night from the Shaw Centre as the ‘Backs welcome the Cranbrook Bucks into town. All kids 15 and under will get in free thanks to our friends at TaylorMade Wellness. Puck drops at 6:00PM.
Photo by CHRIS FOWLER – Recap Courtesy of TONY TROZZO