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Silverbacks trample Centennials, 7-3

Salmon Arm, B.C. – The Salmon Arm Silverbacks played a Sunday game at the Shaw Centre against the Merritt Centennials.

The Silverbacks jump out to an early lead in the first period. Eight minutes in, Cole Longacre jumps up in a two-on-one rush and taps in an easy backdoor feed from Cole Cooksey for the 1-0 lead.

The offensive floodgates opened in the second period. The Centennials tie up the game when Charles-Thomas Larochelle finishes off a three-on-one rush. Two minutes later it is Ryan Gillespie who grabs the rebound and flips it over the outstretched pad of Andrew Ballantyne to give the Silverbacks the lead, 2-1. Back-and-forth scoring then begins for the teams. At the nine-minute mark, Nathan Mackie bats a centering feed out of mid air for the 3-1 Silverbacks lead. Off the ensuing faceoff, JJ Monteiro gets called for a tripping penalty, sending the Silverbacks to their first penalty kill of the game. Within 20 seconds, Charles-Thomas Larochelle tips in a point shot for his second goal of the game, cutting the lead back to one. 30 seconds later, Cole Cooksey is given too much time in the slot where he snipes the puck top corner to regain the two-goal lead, 4-2. With a minute and a half left in the middle frame, Riley Ashe finishes off a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play in front of the net to make it 5-2.

The third period saw some more goals and a whole lot of physicality. Six minutes in, the Centennials try to stem a comeback when Easton Ryan tips in another point shot, 5-3. Halfway through the period, Patrick Raftery and Luke Pfoh get two minutes each for roughing, with Pfoh grabbing the extra 10 minute misconduct. The Centennials decide to pull their goalie with five minutes left to push for the comeback but it backfires when JJ Monteiro pots the empty net goal. Three minutes later, with the Cents net still empty, it’s Monteiro again who fires the open twine for his second empty net goal of the game, making it 7-3. In the last couple of minutes, tempers start to flare as Nathan Mackie hit his man into the boards which draws the attention of Sawyer Prokopetz. Both Mackie and Prokopetz get five for fighting and a game misconduct. After the final buzzer sounds it is more rough stuff as Tanner Walos and Ben Wright get into a lengthy pushing match.

Ryan Grout stopped 28/31 in his 11th win of the season.