The Salmon Arm Silverbacks got a little taste of redemption Feb. 15, coming out victorious over the Wenatchee Wild after a tough run of losses against the Washington skaters this season.
Things kicked off slow in the first as Salmon Arm opened the scoring just after 13 minutes, with Sam Schoenfeld nailing his first BCHL goal, assisted by Nick Unruh. Wenatchee didn’t let this lead hold for long, as Blake Bargar evened the scoreboard just two minutes later.
Heading into the second, Jack Sampson would break the tie for the Silverbacks, snagging his second goal with the team. The remainder of the second was scoreless for both sides, though Ethan Langenegger had a heart-stopping save late in the period.
The third period was a mad scramble as Salmon Arm worked to hold the lead. With just over a minute to go, John Little would add the insurance goal to clear up any chances of a surprise overtime, making it 3-1 for the Silverbacks.
Back on the ice in Wenatchee Feb. 16, the Silverbacks finished just shy of a win in a 6-5 game that nearly went into overtime.
Wenatchee opened the game with a strong push, PJ Fletcher and Nathan Iannone both scoring before the five minute mark. Nick Unruh made it 2-2 with a pair of back-to-back goals within 30 seconds, and Olson Werenka put Salmon Arm ahead by one with another goal in the first.
After this high-scoring first period, the second was a struggle for control. Wenatchee tied the game again at 12 minutes after Murphy Stratton scored, with Silverbacks’ defenceman Akito Hirose putting Salmon Arm ahead before the third.
The Wild pulled ahead in the third, with Chad Sasaki and Avery Winslow scoring early on. Matthew Verboon tied the game for a third time, making overtime a possibility, but Wenatchee’s AJ Hodges responded with the game winner.
The final meeting in the three-game stretch against the Wild took place in the Shaw Centre, Feb. 19 – the Silverbacks second last regular season match.
The first period saw only a single goal light the buzzer, and that came off the stick of Wenatchee’s Trevor Gabriel, putting the Wild up 1-0 going into the second.
In the middle frame, the Wild pulled ahead in a big way. Starting one minute in, Brandon Koch scored, followed by Christophe Fillion and Matt Gosiewski before the half. This 4-0 lead held strong until the third.
In the third, Silverbacks’ forward Jack Sampson picked up the lone marker for Salmon Arm, scoring on the powerplay with Verboon and Darren Rizzolo on the assist. With no big offensive push coming up clutch for the Silverbacks, the game ended 4-1 in Wenatchee’s favour.
Coming up on Feb. 22, the Silverbacks play their final home game of the season against the Penticton Vees.