The Salmon Arm Silverbacks made the most of a weekend trip south of the border, winning both games of a double header against the Wenatchee Wild.
In front of more than 1,800 fans at Wenatchee’s Toyota Town Centre, the ‘Backs and the Wild faced off for the first of two BCHL regular-season games.
The home team got out to an early lead as Brian Adams skated in from the left wing and slipped the puck by Ethan Langenegger minding the net for the Silverbacks.
The ‘Backs were unable to answer until the 13th minute of the period when Nick Unruh chalked up his fifth goal of the season assisted by William Poirier and Coalson Wolford. Just a minute later, Nick Martino skated in unassisted to score the ‘Backs second. Twenty seconds after Martino’s goal, the ‘Backs added another courtesy of Logan Shaw. Daniel Rybarik went on to score at 15:15 and the home team could not answer. The Silverbacks were unable to score on a late power play, leaving the tally at 4-1 Silverbacks at the end of the first period.
The first noteworthy action of the middle period saw Zach Gabrunch sent to the penalty box for interference before the two-minute-mark. The ‘Backs got possession of the puck early in the Wild power play and Poirier passed to Coalson Wolford on a play set up by Antonio Andreozzi. Wolford outpaced the defence and scored, adding to the Silverbacks’ considerable lead.
As Domenic Garozzo sat in the penalty box on a holding call, the Wild looked to mount a comeback. Luke Ormsby made the most of the man advantage with a goal 3:39 into the period. The Wild scored again seconds later to make it a 5-3 game. The home team added another goal just after the halfway point of the period before the Silverbacks got back in the driver’s seat scoring twice off the sticks of Garozzo and Hunter Sansbury — both goals came on the power play.
A last minute goal from the Wild left the score 7-5 Silverbacks, putting the home team within striking distance with 20 minutes to play.
The Silverbacks outshot the home team 13-7 in the final period, but only one shot found the back of the net capping off a thrilling 8-5 victory.
The teams got another look at each other the following evening. Once more, the wild scored the game’s first goal six minutes in, on the power play. The ’Backs got a late period power play of their own and Wolford scored to leave the game tied after 20.
The middle frame was all Silverbacks with goals from Holden Knights and Rybarik.
A high-sticking penalty from the final minute of the second period spilled over into the third, and the Silverbacks jumped at the power-play chance on legs fresh from the intermission. Poirier passed to Akito Hirose who fed it to Wolford allowing him to score his third goal of the weekend.
A late power-play goal from the Wild was not enough to overcome the Silverbacks. At the buzzer, the final score was 4-2 Silverbacks. The victory puts the ‘Backs on a four-game win streak as they gear up for a home-ice double-header against the Trail Smoke Eaters. The Salmon Arm squad are riding high with the best record in the league at 15-3; they are one point ahead of the 14-3 Penticton Vees.