Silverbacks close the year with two losses to Vernon

The Silverbacks got the short-end of the stick in a two-game, home-and-away series against the Vernon Vipers on Dec. 29 and 30

The Silverbacks got the short-end of the stick in a two-game, home-and-away series against the Vernon Vipers on Dec. 29 and 30.

The ’Backs lost  the Dec. 29 contest 4-2 in Vernon, and were inched out 1-0 at home on Dec. 30.

The  Vipers have had the ’Backs’ number all season, winning in five of their meetings. The sixth game ended in a tie.

Vernon opened the scoring on Dec. 29 late in the first with a low wrist shot from Jimmy Lambert with just 32 seconds remaining in the period.

Elijia Barriga answered five minutes into the second, flicking a close-range shot past Vernon’s netminder Darion Hanson.

Vernon would go on to shut the door on the ’Backs with three more goals, from  Christian Cakebread, Jesse Lansdell and Jagger Williamson, before the end of the second period.

Carter Cochrane scored the final goal of the game at 6:47 in the third, assisted by Marcus Mitchell and  Carter Stephenson.

The Dec. 29 contest was a chippy affair.  Vernon was saddled with 16 penalty minutes and ’Backs players served 18 minutes.

Vernon outshot Salmon Arm  41-31.

The two teams met again in front of 1,103 fans at the Shaw Centre on Dec. 30.

Vernon forward Jimmy Lambert, a Saskatoon product, scored the game’s only goal at 2:09 in the opening period.

Following the early score the game became a rough-and-tumble  stalemate with neither team putting anything on the scoreboard except numerous penalty minutes.

Salmon Arm players sat in the box for a total of 22 minutes while Vipers sat for 21. Vernon’s penalties included a five-minute major for a blow to the head charged to Luke Gingras.

Both teams decided to sit the previous game’s goaltenders.

Trevin Kozlowski, in net for the ’Backs, let in only one of 38 shots and was named the game’s second star.

At the other end of the ice, Vipers’ goaltender Ty Taylor stopped all 29 shots he faced on his way to being named the first star.

The Silverbacks will have another chance to defeat Vernon for the first time this season on Jan. 13, but not before playing two games against Trail this weekend.

Salmon Arm will travel to Trail on Friday night to face the Smoke Eaters before returning home on Saturday for another game in front of the home crowd at the Shaw Centre on Saturday, Jan.

-With Files from Kevin Mitchell


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