Vipers slip by ’Backs defence

Salmon Arm SilverBacks seemed to suffer a collective paralysis, allowing three Vernon Vipers goals in less than a minute.

Struggle by the crease: SilverBack Max Becker gets caught up with a Penticton Vees defender during Salmon Arm’s home game Friday at Shaw Centre.

Struggle by the crease: SilverBack Max Becker gets caught up with a Penticton Vees defender during Salmon Arm’s home game Friday at Shaw Centre.

Riding a three-game win streak and 20 minutes away from making it a fourth, the Salmon Arm SilverBacks seemed to suffer a collective paralysis, allowing three Vernon Vipers goals in less than a minute.

The Snakes got goals 46 seconds apart from Josh Bryan, Logan Mick and Michael McNicholas to carve out a 3-2 comeback win on Saturday at Shaw Centre. This was a night after the ’Backs dispatched the Penticton Vees 5-2 on home ice.

Salmon Arm bench boss Troy Mick said Saturday’s meltdown was another hard lesson his team will need to learn from in their quest to be an elite BCHL team.

“It was one big, big brain cramp,” said Mick of the flash flood of Vipers goals. “We changed the line each goal and each line got scored on. We killed a penalty at the start of the third and should have had some good mojo but Vernon didn’t quit.

“I think that was a very disappointing loss; we responded when we gave up the three, but we’ve got to realize a full 60-minute game is more important in this league. We’ve got to love to win a bit more and hate to lose a lot more.”

Taylor Maruya had opened the scoring in the first and Alex Gillies added on in the second, but they couldn’t beat Vernon goalie Danny Todosychuk after that, despite outshooting the Vipers 14-9 in the third period.

Friday night saw Salmon Arm surrender the opening goal but roar back with five uninterrupted tallies of their own, including two more from Alex Gillies who now has a league-best 12 on the year. The game showcased two highly skilled teams and saw just five penalties assessed on the evening.

“It was a little scrambly at times… we’re one of the highest scoring teams but we’re also one of the highest in goals against,” noted Mick. “We’ve got to take better ownership of the (defensive) zone.”

When things did get hectic in the SilverBacks end, Adam Clark was there to prevent the mistakes from becoming goals. The netminder has now made five-straight starts and appears to be finding his form once again.

“We didn’t start the year with him because he was hurting and he got pulled against Nanaimo, but we went back to him,” said Mick. “He was good against Vernon (as well) and he’s played very well for us.

Mick said Angus Redmond would get the call Thursday night in Salmon Arm’s home game against the Trail Smoke Eaters.

Friday’s win for the ’Backs was also sweet for newly acquired Max Becker who began the year with the Vees. He scored a pretty goal coming down the wing with a rocket of a shot to get Salmon Arm on the board. Also joining the Salmon Arm lineup from the injured list are Brendan Kennedy and Riley Hunt.

Mick will put the group through its paces this week, focusing on the power play and defensive zone responsibilities. Salmon Arm host Trail at 7 p.m. Thursday, and then plays in Trail at 7:30 p.m. Friday.