Silverbacks dethrone Spruce Kings

Wilson scores twice on power play in 3-1 home win

Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Jared Turcotte tries to get a shot off while being checked by two Spruce Kings.

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks rebounded from a tough overtime loss against the Nanaimo Clippers on Jan. 27 to beat the Prince George Spruce Kings the following evening.

Nanaimo opened the scoring four minutes into the Jan. 27 contest with a goal from Ben Taylor assisted by Myles Cunningham and former Silverback Josh Blanchard. The goal came on the power play with Silverbacks defenceman Austin Chorney in the box for cross-checking.

Two minutes later, Justin Wilson got the Silverbacks on the board with help from Chorney.

Blanchard gave his team the lead just before the five-minute mark of the second period.

Following the goal, a fight broke out between Shawn Guison and Grayson Constable. Both were given a five minute major.

A Nanaimo shot, this time from Taylor Karel, found the back of the Silverbacks’ net again before the end of the second.

Seven minutes into the third, Nathan Iannone had a penalty shot opportunity but couldn’t get the puck past Evan DeBrouwer in net.

Elijiah Barriga tallied up a power-play marker for the ‘Backs to make it a one goal game with six-and-a-half minutes to go.

With less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Jared Turcotte tied it up for Salmon Arm, assisted by Wilson and Carson Bolduc.

Lucas Finner scored the game winner for Nanaimo just 49 seconds into the first overtime period.

This is the first time Nanaimo beat Salmon Arm in three meetings this season.

The game against Prince George began slowly, with neither team able to score in the first period.

Both teams played very physical hockey throughout the game, but there were not many penalties called. Salmon Arm players sat out a combined six minutes and the Spruce Kings totaled eight minutes in the box. The Silverbacks made good use of their man-advantages, scoring on two of their four power-play opportunities.

Ten minutes into the second period, Drew Lennon of the Spruce Kings tripped up Elijiah Barriga sending him sliding into Prince George goaltender Tavin Grant.

Silverback Josh Latta was slow getting up after being checked hard into the boards by Connor Russell. Russell was penalized for cross-checking. Adam Burnett, another Prince George player, went to the box for cross-checking just a few seconds later leaving the ‘Backs with a two-man advantage.

Just as one of the penalties expired, Wilson found the back of the Prince George net, opening scoring for the Silverbacks.

Before the end of the second period, a shot from Spruce King Brett Mennear deflected off the crossbar just above Nic Tallarico’s shoulder and in the net, tying the game.

Eight minutes into the third, Wilson scored again, this time assisted by Josh Latta and with Barriga screening the goalie. The goal, Wilson’s second of the night, both on the power play, earned him the game’s first star.

Bolduc scored a game-winning empty net goal, wrapping up a 3-1 win for the ‘Backs.

Silverbacks head coach Misko Antisin said his team played a very complete game against Prince George.

“Both games on the weekend were outstanding; I’m really happy with the way we played,” he said.

Antisin noted his team’s power play and penalty kill are both improving.

He said frustration sometimes leads the ‘Backs to too many stick infraction fouls, but he doesn’t mind the body contact penalties they are taking.

“Guys competed hard and we’re on the right track – we just make some simple mistakes that end up in the back of our net sometimes,” Antisin said.


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