The Leko Precast bantam tier two Silverbacks claimed their second championship trophy of the season, putting up wins by huge margins one after another to claim the title in a Kelowna tournament.
The team was missing four regular players, but received support from affiliate players Rylan Blackstock and Trent Thiessen.
The first game of the tourney had Salmon Arm taking on the Quesnel Thunder, putting up a lopsided 12-0 victory. Jaxon Hadath scored a hat trick, and earned player of the game honours.
The second game saw the boys take on an improved Winfield Bruins team, coming away with a 7-1 victory. Jack Doray was named player of the game.
In the final game of the round robin, Salmon Arm took on Chilliwack for another landslide victory, with Beckett Johnson earning the player of the game award.
The undefeated round robin meant that the boys had earned a spot in the semifinals versus a feisty team from the Sunshine Coast.
The ’Backs were only up a goal going into the third period when suddenly Gage Parrell put his game into overdrive, scoring back-to-back goals and providing the team with a more comfortable lead. The final score saw Salmon Arm on the right side of a 7-3 margin.
With the victory, the ’Backs punched their ticket to the finals and Charlie Kehl was awarded the player of the game.
The championship game was a rematch against a Kelowna squad that Salmon Arm had tied on two previous occasions.
Early on Kelowna picked up a 2-1 lead. A goal from Jaxon Hadath seemed to awaken the Silverbacks and they added two more. The second half of the game was all Salmon Arm. Maddux Martin picked up a hat trick and Gage Parrell added another to help seal a 9-2 championship victory. Parker Fournier and Gage Parrell shared the player of the game award.
Peewees finish fourth
The Salmon Arm GM peewee tier two Silverbacks headed to Kamloops to play in the Blazers’ Invitational tournament, finishing in the top four.
The round robin started well for the ’Backs as they were able to dominate the host Kamloops Blazers in a 5-0 shutout victory. Nate Mayes scored a hat trick for the winners and the player of the game was awarded to Toryn Sherman.
In their second game, Salmon Arm used an aggressive passing attack to tame the Prince George Cougars 4-1. Nate Mayes continued his offensive output with two more goals. Another fine goaltending performance earned Preston Lewis the player of the game honour.
Saturday began with a nail-biter against a strong team from Whistler. The ’Backs took early leads only to see them evaporate twice. Five minutes into the third period, Sawyer Mayes was able to find the net for the game winner. Player of the game honours went to Ben Harrington.
The final game of the round robin pitted the Silverbacks against a squad from North Vancouver. The teams traded goals early on, but it became apparent that Salmon Arm’s tenacious fore-checking would be the difference. Goals from Nate Mayes, Avery Deisroth, Sam Doray, Ben Tudan and Quinn Doray brought them to a 5-1 victory. The always-steady defence provided by Matthew Marino earned him the Player of the Game title.
The Silverbacks finished on top of pool A, which gave them a berth into the semifinal against the North Shore Winter Club. The teams battled back and forth, trading leads in the first two periods. Despite a hat trick from Ben Tudan, the NSWC battled back with three goals, and the game finished in a 6-5 defeat, taking fourth place overall.
Atoms host tournament
On their home ice in the Shaw Centre, Salmon Arm’s atom development Silverbacks were busy with their own tournament games, hosting teams from across the province and as far away as Washington.
Salmon Arm made two wins and one loss in their round-robin games, narrowly missing out on a shot at the semifinals on Sunday.
Their first game was against the North Okanagan regional team, and the Silverbacks knocked out a solid 6-1 victory in this encounter. Next up was Abbotsford, who fell to Salmon Arm in a closer 4-2 game. The atom Silverbacks’ final round-robin game was against Spokane, who stopped the home team with a decisive 7-1 win.
Going into the finals on Sunday, it was Williams Lake against Spokane, with Williams Lake prevailing 4-2 to take home the tournament title. Salmon Arm finished sixth overall out of 12 teams.
With files from Gene Doray