Nick Unruh cuts between Jake Livingstone and Daneel Lategan of the Langley Rivermen during the Nov. 28 game. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks stopped short by Langley, Wenatchee and Merritt

Despite taking early leads, the long-game came back to haunt them

Despite racking up an early lead with two back-to-back goals, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks couldn’t close the game against the Langley Rivermen in overtime Nov. 28

Langley’s Ethan Leyh opened the scoring at the five-minute mark on the power play, but Silverbacks’ forward Justin Wilson made the reply just over a minute later and Matthew Verboon followed it up.

Langley came back to even things up 2-2 but Justin Wilson broke the tie and made it 3-2 for Salmon Arm.

It looked like the lead would hold, but Langley’s Trevor Ayre brought it back to a 3-3 stalemate, prompting overtime.

Related: Silverbacks shut-out Vernon, take OT loss against Merritt

It was a nail-biter in the extra period, with plenty of back and forth around centre ice. Langley’s Ethan Leyh sealed it for the Rivermen, chalking up a loss for the Silverbacks in OT.

A four-goal first period for the Wenatchee Wild put a damper on the Silverbacks’ hope for a win in their grudge match Nov. 30.

A goal for Wenatchee by PJ Fletcher was followed up twice in quick succession by Christophe Fillion and Brian Adams, and with a minute left, Matt Gosiewski scored.

In the second, an early penalty led to a power-play goal by Wenatchee’s Lucas Sowder. Nick Unruh put Salmon Arm up on the board at the halfway mark, assisted by Noah Wakeford and Aiden Jenner.

Going into the third, things looked to be picking up for the Silverbacks, with two goals in quick succession. Jonathan Krahn scored near the seven- minute mark, assisted by Sam MacBean. Akito Hirose followed that up shortly after, a wicked snipe from the face-off circle assisted by Verboon and Wilson.

However, a big pile-up into the Silverbacks’ net would leave goaltender Ethan Langenegger unable to play, replaced with call-up Kobe Grant from the Thompson Blazers. Wenatchee would make a blitz in the late minutes of the period to extend the gap by a further three points, making it 8-3.

For the second time in a week, the Silverbacks put themselves up with an early lead that was dragged out from under them Dec. 2 against Meritt.

Related: Around the BCHL: B.C. hockey news for Dec. 2

The Centennials have been a familiar opponent this season, and Salmon Arm is still looking to inch out a win.

Matthew Verboon claimed both of the Silverbacks’ goals for the evening by the end of the first period, taking back his spot as the team’s leading scorer.

He got one off the assist from Sol Seibel and Justin Wilson, and a second time unassisted on a short-handed play.

The second period was a messy one, with the Silverbacks taking eight penalties and Merritt doubling Salmon Arm’s two-goal lead.

The third was a much quieter period on both sides, with one penalty apiece and a lone goal for Merritt scored by Christian Sabin, ending in a 5-2 loss for the Silverbacks.


 

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jodi.brak@saobserver.net

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