The Salmon Arm Silverbacks picked up a win in front of the home crowd against Merritt before losing on the road to the league-leading Trail Smoke Eaters over the weekend.
The ‘Backs took on the visiting Merritt Centennials in front of 1,231 fans at the Shaw Centre on Nov. 10.
Merritt came out strong with a pair of goals in the first frame from Bradley Cocca and Tyrell Buckley. The ‘Cents out-shot the home team 15-11 in the first 20 minutes.
Trevor Adams got the Silverbacks on the board eight minutes into the second period after being set up with a pass from Hudson Schandor.
Mathieu Gosselin solved Silverbacks goalie Kyle Dumba late in the period to make the score 3-1 Merritt.
Before the end of the period, Rhett Kingston tallied up a power play goal to bring the Silverbacks within one goal of the visitors.
In the third period the Silverbacks took control of the game.
Adams tallied up his second goal of the game and seventh of the season off another assist from Schandor.
Silverbacks’ Captain Grayson Constable gave them their first lead of the game.
Seconds after Constable’s goal Silverbacks’ Forward Demetri Kambeitz dropped the gloves with Zach Zorn of the Centennials sending them both to the box for five minutes.
As the game drew to a close Constable scored again, assisted by defenceman Trevor Longo playing his first game as a Silverbacks.
Seventeen-year-old Longo, a recent acquisition for the ‘Backs, played four games this season for the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL.
The Silverbacks cruised through the rest of the period to a 5-3 win.
The Silverbacks dealt defenceman Spencer Hora, who played 78 games for the ‘Backs since the 2015-16 season, to West Kelowna for future considerations before Friday’s game. Mitch Stapley was also traded to the Calgary Canucks of the AJHL. The Silverbacks also added goaltender Reid Cooper, formerly of the Coquitlam Express to the roster.
“We wish Mitch and Spencer nothing but the best with their new teams and want to thank them for their service to the Silverbacks organization,” Said Silverbacks head coach and GM Scott Atkinson.
Atkinson said the addition of Cooper as well as the earlier deal which brought Kyle Dumba to the team is a big goaltending upgrade for the club. Bo Didur did not dress for either game over the weekend and Atkinson said the team is attempting to trade him.
The ‘Backs headed south for a Sunday-night matchup in Trail.
Trail scored early; Tyler Ghirardosi fired one past Dumba within the first two minutes.
Seven minutes into the period, Kale Howarth scored trail’s second on the power play with Silverback Logan Mostat in the box on a slashing call.
Andre Ghantous made the score 3-0 Trail eight minutes into the second frame.
Adams continued his weekend scoring spree, getting the Silverbacks on the board off a feed from Schandor.
Despite Adams’ goal, Trail had all the momentum for the duration of the second period.
The Smokies scored three more goals before the end of the period and out-shot the ‘Backs 14-4 in the middle stanza.
Heading into the final period, the Silverbacks replaced Dumba with Liam McGarva an associated player taking the ice for the first time in a BCHL game.
Ryan Moon made the score 7-1 Trail nine minutes into the third.
Kambeitz scored assisted by Constable and Schandor just after the 12-minute mark.
Daine Dubois scored the last goal of the game two-minutes later to finish an 8-2 victory.
Although a few players who were out of the lineup for last week’s games, injuries remain a concern for the ‘Backs.
Tanner Campbell, Justin Wilson and Marcus Mitchell missed the weekend action due to injury.
Akito Hirose, Adams, Josh Latta and Rhett Kingston were also injured against Trail.
Atkinson said he hopes at least some of the seven injured players, five of whom are out with concussion symptoms, will be back in the lineup against Cowichan Valley on Nov. 17.