‘Backs get back in the win column in the Nicola Valley.

The Silverbacks went into Merritt last night (Saturday) and beat the Centennials 5-2, on the heels of the ‘Backs most disappointing loss of the season on Friday night at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm, after leading 5-3 over the Vernon Vipers with less than six minutes remaining, the ‘Backs allowed four goals and lost 7-5.

The Silverbacks opened the scoring in the first period on the power-play on Saturday night with Cole Chorney off for roughing, Ryley Booth sent the puck toward the goal from the point and Colton Thibault found the rebound in front. Thibault’s sixth of the season from Booth and Bryden Marsh at 14:19 gave the visitors a one-nothing lead. Under a minute later, the ‘Backs worked the puck back into Centennials territory and Josh Laframboise backhanded it past starting goalie Jonah Imoo to go ahead two-nothing. Laframboise’s second goal in as many games, his second as a Silverback and fifth of the season, from Hirose and Bolduc at 15:15. Phillip Middleton was called for interference at 16:11 which gave the Centennials their first power-play of the game, which the ‘Backs killed off. Thomas Plese finished the first period scoring with 40 seconds remaining, as Josh Blanchard skated in along the right-wing and passed the puck over to Plese on the left side in the Cents zone and he fired it up and over Imoo for his fourth from Blanchard and Middleton at 19:20. The Cents out-shot the Silverbacks 12-11 in the first frame.

The ‘Backs began the second period with their second power-play, as Diego Cuglietta was penalized for being an ineligible player, as he lost his visor and continued in the play. The ‘Backs weren’t able to capitalize on their second man-advantage of the game. And the Centennials were awarded a penalty shot at 3:26 as Colin Grannary worked his way in and onto Angus Redmond with Phillip Middleton checking Grannary. Grannary missed on the penalty shot as he tried to shoot high, glove side and caught a piece of the post. The Silverbacks Ross Heidt was also penalized for roughing at 3:26, and the Centennials had their second power-play which the ‘Backs would kill off. Damian Chreck was then assessed two minutes for a Blow to the Head and a 10 minute misconduct at 5:56, and Merritt went on it’s third power-play but weren’t able to capitalize. Logan Mick scored the only goal of the middle period at 17:27, as he and Heidt skated in over the Centennial line and Mick fired a shot from the slot that beat Imoo. Heidt and Andrew Farny with the assists as the Silverbacks lead four-nothing after 40 minutes. Merritt out-shot the ‘Backs 10-4 in the second period.

Just over two minutes into the third period Middleton was ejected from the game after receiving a five-minute major penalty for a Blow to the Head and a 10-minute misconduct, after he hit Grannary deep in Silverbacks territory to the right of Redmond at 2:11. The Centennials went to their fourth power-play and scored their first goal of the game at 3:53, as Gavin Gould potted his fourth of the season from Josh Teves and Rhett Willcox and the ‘Backs lead 4-1. The Silverbacks killed off the remaining minutes in Middleton’s major penalty and then received their third power-play, as Braden Fuller was called for slashing at 8:30. The Centennials scored their second consecutive goal at 12:37, as Jake Clifford notched his third from Gould and Willcox and the ‘Backs lead was cut to 4-2. But Blanchard got the Silverbacks back on the board with 2:18 remaining, as Blanchard skated the puck in along the left-wing and fired a shot on goal and deposited his own rebound. Plese and Farny with the assists.

Merritt out-shot the ‘Backs 14-6 in the third period and 36-21 overall as Angus Redmond made 34 saves and numerous huge stops. The Silverbacks were one-for-three on the power-play, while their penalty-kill was four-for-five.

An emotional Assistant Coach Misko Antisin joined us post-game.

The’Backs are now 9-11-2-5 with 25 points in 27 games.

The Silverbacks next action is a home-and-home series with the West Kelowna Warriors (14-8-0-5) beginning on Friday, December 5th at 7 p.m. at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna before the ‘Backs host the Warriors on Saturday, December 6th at 7p.m. at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.

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