A long road trip with a packed schedule yielded unfavourable results for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Over the course of a three-games-in-three-nights tour of Vancouver Island, the Salmon Arm squad took a progressively worse beating on the scoreboard.
The roadie started off with a close 2-1 loss against the Nanaimo Clippers in which the ‘Backs got on the board first with a goal from Jayden Price and held off the home team until the final minutes of the second period when they tied things up.
The even score held until late in the third when a MacKenzie Merriman goal put the clippers ahead. The ‘Backs could not close the gap.
Up next for the Silverbacks was a Saturday night showdown with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. The home team slipped a goal by Brett Balas between the Silverbacks’ pipes. Balas was playing in his first BCHL game having cracked the roster on AJHL and WHL squads in recent years.
The Bulldogs poured it on in the middle of the period scoring 11:45 in, and then again 15 seconds later. Following the third goal, The ‘Backs bench pulled Balas out in favour of Ethan Langenegger. Lucas Breault, who dressed for the Silverbacks for the first time the night before in Nanaimo, scored before the end of the period.
Breault followed up with another goal 30 seconds into the second period. Jocob Bosse scored a fourth goal for the Bulldogs a minute later.
With Dawson Tritt of the Bulldogs sitting out a hooking call, Akito Hirose scored with Breault credited for the assist.
The third frame went scoreless until the final 10 seconds when the Bulldogs put the puck in the empty Silverbacks net to wrap up a 5-3 final.
The Silverbacks fared even worse against the Cowichan Valley Capitals in Duncan on Sunday Dec. 8.
The home team made the most of a power-play opportunity at 11:51.
The Capitals scored two more power-play goals in the opening six minutes of the second period and added a fourth goal before the middle frame was over.
The Silverbacks held off the home team for much of the third period but a goal in the final minute sent them packing with a 5-0 final score.
The loss to Cowichan was the Silverbacks’ seventh in a row but, owing to their strong start to the season, the team’s 19-13-2 record has them sitting in third place in the BCHL Interior Division.