The Salmon Arm Silverbacks pulled off a thrilling 7-2 victory at home against the Trail Smoke Eaters, a team which they have not fared well against this season.
The ’Backs came out strong, scoring five unanswered goals in the first period.
Jared Turcotte opened the scoring just before the three-minute mark, assisted by Carson Bolduc and Marcus Mitchell.
The second goal of the game came from Haydn Hopkins off a pass from Justin Wilson.
Elijiah Barriga scored unassisted just before the 10-minute mark putting the ’Backs up 3-0.
Following a fourth Silverbacks marker, by captain Mitch Skapski, Trail made a goaltending change, replacing former Silverback Zach Dyment with Linden Marshall.
A fresh goalie didn’t turn the game around for the Smokies as Josh Blanchard would score again before the end of the first period, assisted by Hopkins and Ryley Booth.
Smoke Eaters forward Blaine Caton got his team on the board five minutes into the second period, getting a shot by Silverbacks goalie Nic Tallarico with help from Mitchell Stapley and Andre Ghantous.
Bolduc answered for Salmon Arm later in the second, assisted by Skapski. Bolduc would go on to have a four-point night and be named the game’s first star. Most of the third period passed without further scoring, until Connor Brown-Maloski tallied up Trail’s second and final goal with less than two minutes remaining.
Barriga would close the game on a high note for Salmon Arm with a goal assisted by Bolduc and Skapski with just over a minute left to play.
The Silverbacks dominated the offensive zone with 40 shots on goal to Trail’s 28.
“This is a different Silverbacks team compared to the one we’ve seen in the past even two weeks ago,” said Smoke Eaters head coach Cam Keith. “They brought the energy with all four lines.”
“We’re playing a really good style of hockey right now, we’re a confident group, we’re working hard in practice and our attention to detail is very strong so I’m happy,” said Silverbacks head coach Misko Antisin.
The victory against Trail comes on the heels of a thrilling road win against the Penticton Vees on Dec. 2. The game went to double overtime. The Silverbacks’ Carter Cochrane scored the game winner early in the second overtime period wrapping up a 4-3 win for Salmon Arm.
The ’Backs return to the road to face the West Kelowna Warriors on Tuesday after the Observer’s deadline.
The Warriors sit one spot above the Silverbacks in the BCHL Interior division standings. Both teams have 13 wins on the season, but Salmon Arm has played two more games.
The Silverbacks have had success against the Warriors earlier this season, winning three of the teams’ four meetings.
Based on his performance in the last two games, it’s a safe bet that Tallarico, a recent addition to the Sliverbacks’ roster will start in net. The ’Backs announced on Dec. 1 that they released goalie Brandon Kegler and signed Tallarico.