Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer Rhett Kingston of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks carries the puck up the ice as Vernon Viper Chris Jandric checks him during a game at the Shaw Centre on Friday, Dec. 8.

‘Backs lose to Vipers and Cents

Team has not won since Nov. 25

It has been a dismal December for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The ’Backs are on a five-game losing streak with their last win coming on Nov. 25 in Wenatchee.

Since then, the Gorillas have been bested by Wenatchee, shut-out by Prince George and lost games to Penticton, Vernon and Merritt.

The Vernon Vipers travelled up Highway 97 to pay a visit to the Shaw Centre on Dec. 8.

The Silverbacks struck first — Hudson Schandor tallied up a power-play goal, going bar down on the breakaway.

Schandor’s goal resulted in a shower of donated teddy bears and bags of winter clothes raining from the stands down onto the ice as it was teddy bear toss night at the Shaw Centre.

Once the bears had been cleared from the ice, play resumed and the teams battled each-other to a standstill for the remainder of the period.

The Vipers outshot the ’Backs 10-5 in the first period but Reid Cooper was up to the challenge, keeping the score 1-0 Silverbacks after 20.

The stalemate continued through much of the second period until Vernon got on the board with a goal from Keyvan Mokhtari just after the 15-minute mark. With a little over two minutes left to play in second period, a shot from Chris Jandric made it past Cooper, giving Vernon the lead.

Neither side could score for most of the final period.

The Silverbacks pulled Cooper in the final two minutes in an effort to tie the game up. Instead, Sam Anzai was able to seal the deal with an empty-net goal for the Vipers.

The following evening, the Silverbacks hit the road to play the Merritt Centennials.

The ‘Backs had won two games of the teams’ three meetings this season leading up to Saturday night’s game.

In the first period, the Cents pummeled Kyle Dumba with 25 shots but neither team could find the back of the net.

In the second period, a pair of goals from Henry Cleghorn — one of them shorthanded — put Merritt in the lead.

The Silverbacks responded with a goal from Rhett Kingston, his 14th of the season, early in the third period.

Ten minutes into the period, Cleghorn got the hat trick off a feed from Mathieu Gosselin. Just over a minute later, Zach Zorn fired one past Dumba making the score 4-1 Centennials.

Frustrations boiled over as the game drew to a close and a fight broke out between Zorn and Demetri Kambeitz.

The Silverbacks will play two road games in two nights against the Wenatchee Wild heading into the Christmas break. The next Silverbacks home game is on Dec. 29 against Vernon.

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