The Salmon Arm Silverbacks ended a losing streak in front of the home crowd Sunday, dominating the second and third periods to send the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters packing 7-4.
The Smokies potted the first two goals of the game, one 7:30 after the opening face off, and another 15 minutes in on the power play. Less than a minute after Trail’s second goal, Daniel Rybarik got the puck past Matteo Paler-Chow in the Trail net and was rewarded with a shower of stuffed animals as it was the ‘Backs’ teddy bear toss night.
The score remained 2-1 through the end of the period, but the Silverbacks wasted no time tieing the game up three minutes into the second frame off the stick of Logan Shaw. Akito Hirose gave the ‘Backs their first lead of the game in the final second of Trail d-man’s Kyle Pow’s holding penalty.
A few minutes after getting out of the box,Pow was sent to the dressing room for checking from behind and then trading shoves with the Silverbacks’ Sam Schofield after the play had been whistled dead.
In the final minute of the second period, Owen Ozar scored a power-play goal for the Smokies to leave the score 3-3 heading into the third frame.
Hirose scored his second goal of the game five minutes into the third, and Shaw quickly followed up with a second goal of his own to give the ‘Backs a convincing 5-3 lead as the clock ticked down.
Trail wasn’t done adding to their tally yet as Kent Johnson made a 5-on-3 chance count at 12:29.
The refs ruled that Jaden Senkoe of the Smoke Eaters instigated a late-game dust-up between him and Nick Martino. Both men were given game misconducts while Carson Briere sat out Senkoe’s instigator penalty, allowing the ‘Backs to further pressure Paler-Chow.
Rybarik’s 18th goal of the season and second of the night made the score 6-4 with less than three minutes to play, and compelled the Smoke Eaters to pull their goaltender. Luke Mylymok scored on the empty net just before the buzzer to cap off a 7-4 final.
The win against Trail ended a nine-game losing skid for the ’Backs who will play their last two games of 2019 after a break for Christmas.