Salmon Arm, B.C. – The Salmon Arm Silverbacks were back in action at home for their first game of the preseason, taking on the Vernon Vipers.
With plenty of new faces on the Silverbacks side making their BCHL preseason debuts, the first period was back-and-forth. Neither team was able to find the back of the net, registering nine shots a piece, with Silverbacks goalie Ryan Groat and Vipers netminder Colin Reay standing tall. The period was played even strength, although Ryan Gillaspie and Liam Payne sat for two minutes each for roughing. The Silverbacks caught some breaks during the opening frame as three pucks clanged off the post throughout.
The second period started much the same with the pressure being applied from both sides. Three minutes into the middle frame, Maddux Martin was sent to the box for boarding, leading to the Silverbacks first short-handed attempt of the preseason. They were able to kill off the penalty and jump back to even strength but didn’t have the same fortune a few minutes later on their second try. Tristan Allen got called for slashing sending the Vipers to the advantage once again where defenseman Jordin Palmer took a pass from Adam Csabi and sent a laser past Grout for his first of the preseason. The Viper’s backup goalie, Dylan Adams, took over in net at the media timeout, ending Reay’s night a perfect 13/13.
The intensity ramped up in the third period for the Silverbacks. Just over a minute in, Chris Kobelka sat two minutes for interference which led to Salmon Arm killing off their second penalty kill. With five minutes left in the final period, the Silverbacks caught the break they needed as they received their first powerplay of the night when Isaac Fecteau was called for holding. The man advantage led to a number of good chances but ultimately couldn’t pot one in the back of the net. Under two minutes to go, Grout was called to the bench, giving the Silverbacks another chance at the extra attacker but couldn’t get past Adams. In the final 30 seconds, Jacob Bonkowski was called for tripping trying to defend the rush with an empty net. The third period ended with Salmon Arm outshooting the Vipers 8-0. Grout finished the game stopping 34/35 and Adams stopped 12/12 in his relief outing.
A chance for revenge comes for the Silverbacks as they travel to Vernon for their second game of the preseason Saturday night, September 9. Puck-drop is at 6:00 and can be streamed on Flo Sports.