’Backs gather momentum

It’s been a newsy few days for the Gorillas as they earned five of a possible six points last week

Moving up: Karson O’Keefe prepares to drive during one of his many local competitions. He has been recruited to play on Minot State University’s golf team.

Onward and upward for the Salmon Arm SilverBacks.

It’s been a newsy few days for the Gorillas as they earned five of a possible six points last week, forward  Devin Muller was named BCHL player of the week and a number of roster moves have kept coach Colin O’Hara extremely busy.

Salmon Arm racked up an 11-2 win over the Trail Smoke Eaters last Wednesday in which Bryce Gervais scored four times. Muller had a goal and three helpers starting off his big week.

“Key guys played big roles for us in that victory,” said O’Hara. “We talked about winning a game and winning it big; it’s good for our group and good for our ego.”

The 11-goal outburst was the highest posted by any BCHL team in a single game this season. Another home win against Westside came on Friday, 3-2 in overtime with Muller potting the winner early in the first overtime period. Kurt Williams made 38 saves to take second star. While the two points were good, O’Hara has been stressing how important it is to wrap things up in 60 minutes so their opponents don’t get points.

“We still have to find a way to get wins before overtime,” said the head coach. “We still need to find that killer instinct.”

Salmon Arm chalked up one more point with a 4-3 road loss in overtime to Chilliwack. The group responded well after going down 2-0 in the first period with Gervais getting a pair to tie it and Kody Dhaliwal putting them up a goal late in the second. But the Chiefs forced OT with a goal midway through third and won it on Trevor Hills’ goal at 1:56 of overtime.

In roster news, Brock Balson left the club to join the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers and the club released Klay Kachur who has since been claimed by Westside. But the good is they’ve acquired Garrett Hendrickson and Myles McCauley from the Penticton Vees for future considerations and the team is now just four points back of fourth-place Chilliwack. The club also signed Brad Robinson and traded Kyle Oleniuk for futures.

Hendrickson will bring a bit of a scouting report on the Vees, who are the ’Backs’ next opponents Friday at Sunwave Centre, and McCauley was nearly a point-per-game player last season in Penticton. With so many new faces in the lineup this week, extra time will be spent in practice on the team’s systems.

“It’s a refresher course for everybody else and an opportunity for the new guys to learn the terminology we use,” said O’Hara.


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