Under pressure: Silverbacks defenceman

’Backs end strong pre-season

The exhibition games are finished, the roster has been finalized, and the Silverbacks are eager to start the regular season

The exhibition games are finished, the roster has been finalized, and the Silverbacks are eager to start the regular season.

The ’Backs ended their preseason with a convincing 4-1-1 record.

In their final three games Salmon Arm won 8-5 against Prince George, tied West Kelowna 3-3 and beat them 5-4 in overtime.

In the last exhibition game against West Kelowna, the Warriors took the lead in the first period on the power play.

West Kelowna’s Jordan Masters scored on great individual effort showing off a great amount of skill.

He received a pass in the left corner, and circled the offensive zone deking out the ’Backs defence then beat goaltender Angus Redmond on a wrap around.

Salmon Arm struggled at times to break out of their own zone during the first period because of aggressive pinching by West Kelowna’s defencemen.

The Silverbacks adjusted their breakout by having the wingers start lower on the boards and using a long breakout pass through the middle to open up the play.

Salmon Arm started to gain an offensive foothold in the game, and created problems for the Warriors defence, because of the quick transition.

They scored just before the end of the first period on a broken play. A quick shot from the half boards saw Taylor Maruya scoop up the puck and bury the rebound.

Early in the second period Angus Redmond looked shaky in net, dropping pucks and giving up big rebounds, but regained his composure after making a big save on a breakaway chance to keep the game tied.

The Silverbacks had a large amount of puck possession and looked unstoppable.

They let the puck do the work, passing it around the ice effortlessly and confidently.

Salmon Arm took control of the game in the second period, scoring three goals to jump out to a 4-1 lead.

The ’Backs started the third period on a five-on-three penalty kill, and gave up a shorthanded goal from the point.

With five minutes remaining in the game the Warriors scored another goal from the point that Redmond had no chance of seeing because of a great screen set up in front.

Less than two minutes later West Kelowna drew level, forcing Salmon Arm to call a 30 second time-out.

Redmond stopped a flurry of chances by West Kelowna in the dying seconds of the game, which forced a five minute overtime period.

Both teams traded scoring chances in a fast-paced extra fame.

Taylor Maruya received a short pass from the corner by Nick Josephs and snapped a quick shot into the top corner on the short side.

The ’Backs travel to Langley to kick off their season against the Langley Rivermen on Friday Sept. 19.

The Silverbacks first home game at the Shaw Centre will be on Friday, Sept. 26 against Merritt.


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