Merritt comes to call Friday

Salmon Arm SilverBacks Strategy: More shots, less passing.

Over here: SilverBack Klay Kachur yells for the puck as he waits

In the movie Wall Street, Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gekko utters the famous line, ‘Greed, for lack of a better word, is good’ and the Salmon Arm SilverBacks may be wise to take on that sentiment moving forward.

The Gorillas got just one point out of two home games last weekend and had players giving up good scoring chances in favour of passing to teammates. The results were a 4-3 overtime loss to the Cowichan Valley Capitals and a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Surrey Eagles.

“I think we’re passing up opportunities to shoot the puck from prime areas,” said head coach Colin O’Hara. “There are just some minor tweaks we have to make and get through to our guys that they’re passing up quality chances for a lesser-quality shot on goal.”

On Friday against the Capitals, after getting goals from Brock Balson and Bryce Gervais to take a 2-1 lead after one, the ’Backs got sloppy with their line changes and allowed several odd-man rushes for the Capitals who eventually capitalized to tie it 2-2.

In the third, the teams swapped goals with Cowichan Valley’s Matt Brown and Salmon Arm’s Morgan Zulinick tallying power-play markers. A Stefan Nicholishen penalty late in the third carried over into overtime and, despite killing it off, the SilverBacks remained under pressure and defenceman Troy Paterson scored the winner for the Caps.

“We finished killing (the penalty) but they won a half-wall battle and found Troy Paterson, who snuck into the slot and made a nice shot and won the game,” said O’Hara.

On Saturday, O’Hara liked the effort better and felt the club was more responsible with defensive assignments but again couldn’t muster enough finish to overcome the Eagles.

“It was probably a better hockey game,” said O’Hara. “I thought our guys had a great bounce-back effort from the night before; we tightened up defensively, we blocked 23 shots… but again one of those nights where we’re finding a way to lose and are beating ourselves.”

There was no scoring until the second when Surrey’s Tyler Morley traded goals with Balson who got his second of the weekend. A shorthanded effort by Brandon Tanev was the game-winner in the third. Eagles goalie Andrew Hunt was solid turning aside 29 shots.

“Give Andrew credit, anything he saw there was no rebound,” said O’Hara. “He limited the second and third chances with his rebound control.”

At the same time, the head coach wouldn’t mind seeing some of his top offensive weapons be a bit more selfish. Bryce Gervais, who was second star on Saturday, falls into that category.

“He had his legs going and when Bryce is skating, he’s very effective,” said O’Hara. “Right now he’s looking to pass more than shoot.”

Salmon Arm hosts the Merritt Centennials Friday and Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday. Both games begin at 7 p.m.

Reardon rejoins

The SilverBacks last week brought former defenceman Jayson Reardon back to the team in an assistant coaching role. Reardon played the 2009-10 and 2010-11 season on the Salmon Arm blueline.



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