The Salmon Arm Rona Silverbacks tier three midget team put up two runaway victories against Castlegar in Revelstoke Dec. 1-2.
Saturday’s game started with both teams trading chances, until David Kline opened the scoring for Salmon Arm with a short-handed breakaway. Castlegar netted a couple to take the lead early, but Bradley Hlina tucked a shot into the net with 0.3 seconds left.
Connor Kociuba knocked the water bottle off the top of the net with a goal, assisted by Grady Powell, to give the Silverbacks the lead. That opened the floodgates for Salmon Arm, Kline getting his second and third for the hat trick, and Powell getting his own to put them up 6-2 at the midway point of the third. Castlegar would get another, but they couldn’t hold the potent offence dormant for long. Kociuba scored his second of the game with time winding down in the third, and Lane Bull sniped a top-corner wrist-shot from the top of the circle, to hand Salmon Arm an 8-3 victory.
Sunday morning saw depleted benches on both sides of the contest, as players nursed injuries in the stands from the previous day’s spirited affair. Again, the teams traded chances early on, but the first period remained scoreless. Early in the second, however, Lane Bull would open the scoring for Salmon Arm, carrying the puck down the wall into the corner before his centring pass deflected off a defender’s skate and into the back of the net on the power play.
Ty Bailey battled hard down low and fed the puck out front for Kociuba to tap in, to give the Silverbacks a two-goal lead just 40 seconds later. And with time winding down in the second, Korbyn Forsyth would get the rebound from a Taylor West blue line slap-shot and rip it home from a tight angle to put Salmon Arm up 3-0.
Castlegar would press hard in the third, testing Rod May in net, but the Silverbacks net-minder was up to the task, bringing home the 3-0 shutout victory.
The midget tier three Silverbacks travel to Merritt to square off against the Centennials next weekend.
Submitted by Peter Kociuba