’Backs choke Smoke Eaters

The latest triumph was Saturday’s victory at Sunwave Centre, a 7-4 win that came on the heels of two losses

Stay out: SilverBacks netminder Kurt Williams makes a double pad save Saturday night against Smokies forward Eric Cooper. The’Backs won

If the Salmon Arm SilverBacks could simply play the Trail Smoke Eaters all the time, they’d be much higher in the BCHL Interior Conference standings.

Of the Gorilla’s four wins on the season, three have come against Trail. The latest triumph was Saturday’s victory at Sunwave Centre, a 7-4 win that came on the heels of two losses to the Merritt Centennials, 3-2 in overtime Wednesday and 3-2 again on Friday in Merritt.

The first period continues to be a strong point for Salmon Arm as they opened the scoring in each of the three games last week. The difference against Trail, where they took a 4-3 lead after 20 minutes, was sustained offence that allowed them to tally three times in the second, including Graham McBain’s first of the season that proved to be the game-winner.

“I really liked our start; that hasn’t been an issue,” said ’Backs coach Colin O’Hara. “But I didn’t like where we went with our game. At the (BCHL-mandated) marketing timeout, we had to give our group a bit of a wakeup call about the things we weren’t doing.

“After the first (period), we talked about raising our game and not lowering it.”

The message sunk in and Salmon Arm cruised home despite allowing a goal in the third.

The win was a fitting result to what was, overall, a pretty good week of hockey for the SilverBacks. O’Hara felt the team could have won both of the Merritt games as well, and they did get one point with the overtime loss where Bryce Gervais and Morgan Zulinick scored.

“Both teams created opportunities to score goals and (goalie Adam) Clark played well here,” said O’Hara. “We made two costly errors and they scored on both of them.”

At Nicola Valley Arena in Merritt on Friday, bad luck was a factor as Kody Dhaliwal beat Cents’ netminder Lino Chimienti but not the post. A few centimeters the other way and it could have been the winning goal. Instead, it was a small execution miscue that wound up leading to the winning goal for the Cents.

“I thought we were dominating in the third period but we made an error on the forecheck and didn’t get the puck deep,” said O’Hara, adding Jeff Kennedy’s instigator penalty for fighting late in the game erased any comeback hope. But the recent trio of games marks growth for the club in the coach’s view.

“I like where our game is from where it was; we’re playing a much more complete game,” said O’Hara. “We’re playing better without the puck… We need to find a way to win on a nightly basis as opposed to finding a way to lose.”

Puck possession remains a theme with O’Hara and he talks a lot with the team about putting the puck to areas where there is a high probability of winning it back. It’s a new concept for some of the players but one that seems to be taking root.

The SilverBacks hope their success against those Trail Smoke Eaters continues at home tonight in a 7 p.m. start. Westside visits Sunwave Centre Friday at 7 p.m. and Salmon Arm goes to Chilliwack Saturday.


Just Posted

New South Shuswap community park proposed for Blind Bay

Regional district proposes the purchase of 9.5 acres now known as Centennial Field

$30,000 donation for outdoor classroom in Salmon Arm to honour beloved teacher

Funds from Armstrong Regional Co-op to go to the Shannon Sharp Learning Circle

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun and heat continue Saturday

Environment Canada forecasts highs of 30 C throughout the Okanagan Saturday

Salmon Arm basketball star to be inducted into national hall of fame

One of Sargent’s many achievements is holding the Olympic record for most assists for 20 years

PHOTOS: Enderby grads paint the town — and themselves

Students spray painted the street outside A.L. Fortune on June 14 to celebrate graduation

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Jury finds Kelowna man guilty of second-degree murder

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read