Silverbacks look to rebound in Vernon

For only the second time this season, the Silverbacks lost two games in a row, this time at the hands of visiting teams

No way through: Marcus Mitchell’s deflection is saved by Langley’s goaltender Nickolas Trenciansky in a game at the Shaw Centre on Saturday evening.

For only the second time this season, the Silverbacks lost two games in a row, this time at the hands of visiting Langley and Cowichan Valley.

On Teddy Bear Toss night at the Shaw Centre, Silverbacks’ fans anxiously waited until just after the 13-minute mark of the third period for the ’Backs’ first goal to toss their teddy bears for donations to the Salvation Army.

Hundreds of teddy bears rained onto the ice after Kodi Schwarz’s third period marker, which ignited a furious comeback by Salmon Arm after falling behind by four.

Taro Hirose and Josh Blanchard scored to get their team within a goal of the Rivermen.

Max Kaufman’s late empty-netter sealed the win for Langley.

“We played really well, we had numerous chances to get on the board, but we just couldn’t score,” said Silverbacks assistant coach Misko Antisin.

On Sunday the ’Backs faced Cowichan Valley, for the first time this season, in a matinee at the Shaw Centre.

The Capitals’ starter Storm Phaneuf was the main antagonist, stopping 33 of 35 shots.

“We had 22 terrific scoring opportunities but Cowichan’s goalie was fabulous. Normally when we have that many chances we don’t have a problem winning the game,” said Antisin.

Cowichan’s Chris Harpur opened the scoring in the second period with Phil Middleton in the box for hooking.

Damien Chrcek scored his fourth goal of the season for his 11th point of the season, equalling last year’s offensive output. The Caps increased their lead to 3-1 with less than five minutes in the game, before Schwarz scored a consolation goal with two seconds remaining, his second in as many games.

Missing from the lineup over the weekend was the six-foot-one defenceman Cameron Trott, as he is still battling for a chance to represent Team Canada West in the World Junior A Hockey Challenge.

Also missing from action was head coach Brandon West, as he joined Trott in Leduc, Alta. for the selection camp.

“It was business as usual around here. Cameron is a big part of our puzzle, but in his absence we expect our players to step up to the challenge,” said Antisin.

He says with West not manning the bench, his role is unchanged.

“I am still expected to do my job and that is to be a motivator and to spur the guys on to get the best out of them.”

The Silverbacks turn their focus towards Vernon this evening at Kal Tire Place.

On the weekend the ’Backs will host Penticton on Friday in the first game of a home-and-home series with the nation’s number-one team.

 

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