Last Friday night the Silverbacks hosted the defending Island division champs, the Victoria Grizzlies.
The ’Backs were coming off an impressive 6-1 win over Merritt, while the Grizzlies were looking to bounce back after a loss to division rivals Nanaimo.
Heading in to the game, both teams had nearly identical records with four wins and three losses, and the same goal difference record.
Both teams had a week off before their meeting at the Shaw Centre and came out playing a very up-tempo game.
The quick pace of the game allowed for scoring chances for both teams.
In his first game since returning from injury in the pre-season camp, Ross Heidt made an immediate impact scoring his first goal in the BCHL, and of the game, halfway into the opening frame.
Salmon Arm defenceman and leading scorer, Andrew Farny, found open ice through the neutral zone and let a shot go from the top of the right circle, which resulted in a juicy rebound for Heidt to easily finish off.
The tempo of the second period was just as fast as the first period.
The ’Backs had a majority of puck possession, thanks in part to an excellent cycle and gritty work along the boards in the offensive zone.
Despite out-shooting Victoria 10-5 in the period, the Silverbacks offence could not solve the Grizzlies goaltender, Sean Cleary.
The physicality of the game was turned up and both teams were finishing checks, and pushing and shoving after the whistle.
Victoria managed to even up the score when Shawn McBride scored his third goal of the season.
Only a minute into the third period, Victoria took the lead off a quick transition up the ice that caught the Silverbacks flat-footed and chasing the play.
Brett Gruber, wasn’t picked up by a back checker, and snuck the puck past a desperate Angus Redmond, who got a piece of the shot, off the cross crease pass.
Victoria would go on to increase their lead and continue to push Salmon Arm.
A sloppy Silverbacks turnover lead to Redmond bailing out his team with a spectacular diving poke check save, keeping the ’Backs in the game.
Colton Thibault would add a consolation goal with 1:24 remaining in the game.
In the end it wasn’t enough as the Silverbacks lost their fourth game of the regulation season 3-2.
The Silverbacks played their second game in three days on Sunday afternoon.
This was also the second meeting this season with the visiting Langley Rivermen, after the Silverbacks opened the season with a 4-2 victory over the team at the Bauer BCHL Showcase last month in Chilliwack.
For the third consecutive game, the Silverbacks opened the scoring.
Thibault’s power play marker was his third of the season and gave the ’Backs a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
In the second period, Bolduc increased the lead to three, with assists from Hirose and Farny.
After the ’Backs third goal, the Rivermen sent goaltender Darren Martin into the game, in relief of Bo Didur.
The Rivermen ended Angus Redmond’s shutout bid on the power play with five minutes left in the second period.
Langley continued to push and managed to cut the Silverbacks lead to just one goal, scoring early in the third period.
Silverbacks defenceman, Phillip Middleton scored his first BCHL goal giving his team another two goal cushion.
The power play goal resulted from a shot from the point that had eyes and found its way to the back of the net through the traffic.
Salmon Arm would add one more goal for insurance, winning the game 5-2.
The Silverbacks head to Trail tonight, before returning to the Shaw Centre for a three-game Interior Division home stand against Trail, Penticton, and West Kelowna.