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Salmon Arm Silverbacks swat down Grizzlies, vexed by Vipers

Team hosts pair of home games at Shaw Centre
Cole Cooksey races to intercept a Victoria Grizzlies forward in Junior A hockey action at Shaw Centre on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. (Kayleigh Seibel Photography)

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks played host in a pair of weekend games that brought a hard-fought win followed by another shutout, this time favouring the Vernon Vipers.

On Friday, Nov. 17, the Victoria Grizzlies were in Salmon Arm to do battle with the ‘Backs at Shaw Centre. Victoria was first to light up the board with a goal near the five-minute mark by Anthony Carone. The home team replied about a minute later with Casy Laylin tipping in a shot off of Tristan Allen and Nick Wellenreiter. A power-play conversion potted by JJ Monteiro, off of Reid Varkonyi and Allen, gave the Silverbacks a 2-1 lead going into second period.

Varkonyi added another goal for Salmon Arm early in the second frame, assisted by Cole Cooksey. The Grizzlies’ Ryan Watt put in a short-handed goal near the 10-minute mark, cutting into Salmon Arm’s lead.

A little over one-minute into the final frame, Salmon Arm’s Nathan Mackie – assisted by Jacob Bonkowski and Jonah Aegerter – found the back of the net. At 9:04, the Grizzlies’ Anderson Pirtle delivered the puck through netminder Eli Pulver’s legs, leaving the Silverbacks with a precarious 4-3 lead. Despite efforts that included pulling their goalie near the end of the period, though, the Grizzlies were unable to get another puck past Pulver.

The following night, the Silverbacks welcomed the Vernon Vipers back to Shaw Centre. When the two teams last faced off there, on Nov. 11, the end result was a 4-0 win for Salmon Arm. This time, the game would play out with the guests scoring the 4-0 shutout, with Vernon scoring an early marker in the first period, nothing in second period and three more goals in the final frame.

Vernon netminder Ethan David received first-star honours for the game after stopping 41 shots on net (Pulver stopped 25).

The Silverbacks are back on the ice on Nov. 22, when they take on the West Kelowna Warriors at Royal LePage Place. The ‘Backs will be at the Shaw Centre again on Nov. 24 to face off against the Surrey Eagles.

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Read more: Salmon Arm Silverbacks pick up pair of weekend wins

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