’Backs close gap on Warriors

Two wins over the weekend including a shutout victory in Alberni Valley have the Silverbacks within five points of second place

Two wins over the weekend including a shutout victory in Alberni Valley have the Silverbacks within five points of the second-place West Kelowna Warriors.

The Silverbacks came away from their three day three-game road trip with wins in Coquitlam and Alberni Valley, and a tough loss to Powell River on Sunday.

Before the Silverbacks headed out on the road they hosted the Smokies on Tuesday. Feb. 9.

In his first game back from injury, Carson Bolduc picked up where he left off, scoring a hat trick in the ’Backs 9-3 trouncing of Trail.

Nick Hutchison, Ross Heidt and Bolduc gave the Silverbacks a 3-2 advantage after the first period, before they exploded for four goals in the second.

Defenceman Cameron Trott scored his fifth of the season before Heidt and Bolduc rounded out the scoring in the frame.

Josh Blanchard and Taro Hirose added goals for good measure in the third, while Brandon Kegler made 36 saves for the win.

On Friday evening in the Lower Mainland, Kodi Schwarz, Mitch Skapski and Marcus Mitchell scored in the first period against the Coquitlam Express. Coquitlam’s Owen Stout got the Express on the score sheet late in the opening frame and Colton Kerfoot got the home team to within one with a goal in the second. In the third period Mitchell scored his second of the game and eight of the season.

Hirose and AP player Zach Erhardt, with his first BCHL goal, also found the back of the net in the final frame as the ’Backs won 6-2.

Brandon Kegler earned his seventh win of the season as he came in off the bench to make 25 saves, replacing Angus Redmond after the first.

The next evening, on the Island, against the Bulldogs, Kegler made 39 saves for his first BCHL shutout as the Silverbacks downed the ’Dogs 3-0.

Elijiah Barriga scored his 14th goal of the season in the second, giving the Silverbacks all the offence they would need.

Jared Turcotte and Chase Zieky added their names to the scoresheet in the third for extra insurance.

In a Sunday matinee affair, the Silverbacks were out-scored 5-4 in a back-and-forth game in Powell River.

The Kings scored the only goal in the first and grabbed a two-goal lead early in the second period.

The ’Backs offence woke up after the Kings second and scored four unanswered in a nine-minute span. Blanchard, Bolduc, Mitchell and Heidt scored for the Silverbacks as they carried a 4-3 lead heading into the third.

The Kings’ Rylan Ball and Austin Kamer scored in the third to give them the two points.

Zieky has been on a roll in the month of February, as he is on a career high eight-game, 10-point streak. He will look to extend his point streak as the ’Backs host Penticton on Friday and Trail on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Shaw Centre.