Salmon Arm SilverBacks stall after one goal
If they could harness their results from the opening of games and use it for a whole game, the Salmon Arm SilverBacks would be a dangerous team.
The team’s two latest results, identical 4-1 losses to the Chilliwack Chiefs and Prince George Spruce Kings, saw the ’Backs score the first goal of the game. The Chiefs and Spruce Kings each responded with two goals in the second and third periods to claim their respective victories.
On Wednesday versus the Chiefs, it was Garrett Hendrickson doing the damage early on with a goal set up by Shane Hanna and Morgan Zulinick. The lead held up until 9:55 of the second, when Josh Hansen tied it for the visitors with his first of two on the night. David Bondra’s game-winning marker came less than two minutes later.
With Prince George in town on Saturday, Zulinick scored just 28 seconds into the game. The Spruce Kings got a pair of goals from Michael Colantone in the comeback win.
Emotions boiled over late in the game as Jeff Kennedy, not to be outdone by brother Brendan who dropped his gloves the previous game, had a fight with BCHL leading scorer Paul De Jersey, and James Friedel had a tilt with Zack Rassell.
Salmon Arm has scored the first goal in four of their last five games, but have just one win to show for it. With just four games remaining on the calendar after Tuesday night’s game in Chilliwack , there isn’t a lot of time left.
A major positive coming out of the weekend was the SilverBacks penalty-killing effort. The Gorillas held both the Chiefs and Spruce Kings scoreless in a combined seven power plays. It’s something the team can perhaps rally around since they currently sit last in the league in penalty-killing efficiency.
The ’Backs do have the opportunity to affect the Interior Conference standings as they have games remaining versus Merritt and Vernon. With the Vipers clawing for a playoff spot, ruining their chances may be the most satisfying accomplishment the team can pull off at this point.
Individually, Devin Muller can crack the 20-goal mark with a strong finish as he was sitting on 17 tallies going into Tuesday’s game. Zulinick can finish in the top-20 in BCHL scoring if he maintains his point-per-game pace through the end of the campaign.
Salmon Arm finishes the schedule with three of four games on the road. They play Friday in Penticton before a date in Merritt on March 6. They conclude the season with a home-and-home set March 9 and 10 with Vernon, with the latter date being their last home game.