SilverBacks bouncing back

Salmon Arm's Junior A Hockey Team wins two straight games

On target: Salmon Arm SilverBacks’ forward Brandon Mistal takes a shot on goal during the Silverbacks’ 3-2 win over Port Alberni on home ice Friday evening.

When you work hard in hockey, it’s funny how the bounces can go your way. And right now, the Salmon Arm SilverBacks are putting in the necessary effort and are being rewarded with some good puck luck.

The latest example was their 3-2 home win Dec. 7 against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. It was the Gorillas’ only game of the week and, in an evenly played contest, it was an early third-period power play that resulted in the game-winning goal off the stick of local product Shane Hanna.

Tied 2-2 after two, Salmon Arm went on the man advantage when the ’Dogs’ Matthew Hansen was sent off for hooking. Just 39 seconds later, Hanna scored his team-high 27th point of the season and it stood up as the difference.

“He’s been very key for us this year,” said Salmon Arm assistant coach Brandon West of Hanna, who is currently the highest-scoring defenceman in the BCHL. “He’s one of our best players, but also one of our most complete. He’s an assistant captain now; he’s taken on a bigger role and has flourished with it.”

The game was scoreless after one and the teams swapped a pair of goals each in the middle frame with Brandon Mistal and Alex Gillies providing the other SilverBacks goals. Shots on goal wound up 30 for each side with some pretty good looks at the net traded each way.

“It was one of those games where you feel each other out,” said West. “We didn’t have much information on them and they didn’t have much on us. I don’t know if both coaching staffs enjoyed the game but from a fans’ perspective, it was probably a pretty entertaining game.

“Our guys knew what they were going to bring, a similar style to Penticton, all about offence. We knew we had to skate and we wanted to get physical. Not to take away from the guys, but we were fortunate to get some bounces go our way.”

Mistal had a two-point night while Steven Iacobellis and Evan Anderson each chipped in helpers. It’s these players that have given Salmon Arm the offensive weaponry they lacked early in the season. The power play is also up to fifth in the BCHL, clicking at a 22 per cent success rate.

“The guys are playing hard right now… everybody’s contributing in their own way,” said West. “We capitalized on a couple of chances and that won us the game.”

After two straight victories, Salmon Arm is within a win off the .500 mark, one point back of Trail and four points back of West Kelowna. With new players settling into routine, the SilverBacks are in the thick of the Interior Division playoff race.

“I think the one thing we key on is we play hard every night,” said West. “Even though we’ve made a bunch of trades, we’ve kept our identity. We play hard, play with passion and play with speed.”

Lately it’s been a good recipe. Salmon Arm will put it to use tonight in Penticton and Friday at home against Merritt, both 7 p.m. starts. They play in Merritt Saturday in a 7:30 p.m. faceoff.

 

Just Posted

Salmon Arm students hone acting chops in Haney whodunnit

Local talent brings Mystery of Dutch Charlie to life at RJ Haney Heritage Village

UPDATE: Second collision on Highway 1 west of Salmon Arm now clear

Emergency crews respond to motor-vehicle collision near Second Nations Road intersection

CSRD to seek public assent to borrow $1.77 million for park purchase

Formal opposition from 10 per cent of electors required to halt loan

Air ambulance called to Highway 1 crash near Tappen

The collision happened about 3:30 p.m. by James Road

Food trucks feed festivalgoers’ want for unique dining experience

Roots and Blues returns with variety of vendors, continues with recycle and compost program

Video: Crowd thrilled at S-Games in Sicamous

The celebration of two-wheeled transportation showed off daring athletes on all kinds of bikes.

Column: A newcomer’s perspective on Salmon Arm

Community organizations give a sense of fellowship

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Fast-paced South Okanagan fundraiser guaranteed to thrill

Area 27 motorsports club members are offering the ride of a lifetime in support of OSNS

RCMP track down vehicle used in South Okanagan hit and run

Penticton RCMP are asking for any witnesses to a hit and run incident to come forward

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy, showers, thunderstorm risk expected

Environment Canada is calling for a risk of thunderstorms and showers across the Okanagan today

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in the South Okanagan

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

Most Read