’Backs take bite out of ’Dogs

Despite going one-and-one on the weekend, Silverbacks head coach Brandon West was pleased with his team’s effort

All out effort: Salmon Arm’s Mitch Newsome is tripped up by Alberni’s Quinn Syrydiuk as he attempts a shot on Carson Schamerhorn in a game at the Shaw Centre on Friday.

Despite going one-and-one on the weekend, Silverbacks head coach Brandon West was pleased with his team’s effort.

“I thought we put in two very solid 60-minute performances over the weekend. Unfortunately in Prince George, the bounces didn’t go our way towards the end of the game,” said West.

From their opening face-off Friday, the Silverbacks controlled the game. They dictated the pace of the game and created numerous scoring chances right off the bat. A pair of defence men, Damian Chrcek and Kodi Schwarz each scored their first goals of the season before Colton Thibault netted his 14th of the campaign.

The ’Dogs chipped away at the Silverbacks first period lead when Adam Donnelly scored the ’Dogs lone goal. The ’Backs erupted for six goals in the second, including Chrcek’s second, and a pair of shorthanded goals by the speedy Ross Heidt, while Taro Hirose handed out four assists.

Just 30 seconds before Heidt’s first goal, Josh Blanchard also scored on the penalty kill.  The Bulldogs were undoubtably shell-shocked after the ’Backs made it 6-1 and instigated fights after each whistle.

West was pleased with the way the players handled themselves, taking care not to get sucked into the ‘nastiness.’

“The guys were definitely fired up. Our leaders on our bench kept the guys focused, and we beat them on the scoreboard. Everyone contributed in the game.”

Josh Laframboise and Elijiah Barriga bookended scoring in the wild second period, while Mitch Newsome capped the scoring, his third of the season in a subdued final period. Brandon Kegler made 32 saves for the win in place of the injured Angus Redmond.

The Silverbacks made the long bus ride up to Prince George on Saturday to face the Spruce Kings. Prince George’s Matthew Stief equalized the game late in the third and Braiden Epp got the winner just over a minute later as the Spruce Kings won 4-3. The ’Backs Laframboise opened the scoring and Stephen Penner tied it late in the first. In the second, Hirose and Adam Brubacher exchanged power-play goals,  and Thibault put the ’Backs ahead in the third before the Spruce Kings rallied for the eventual win.

“We played a very aggressive style game, and we gave up a few penalties at the wrong time,” said West.

West says Redmond will be back in the lineup for the weekend when the ’Backs take on Vernon at the Shaw Centre on Friday before completing the home-and-home series on Saturday in Vernon. Also missing from the line up on the weekend was Nick Hutchison. The Silverbacks leading scorer before the weekend picked up an upper body injury and it is unknown when he will return.


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