‘Backs beat Smoke Eaters in first half of home-and-home; back half tonight at Trail.

The Silverbacks opened their back-to-back, home-and-home set with the Trail Smoke Eaters last night with a 4-3 victory at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm, the ‘Backs first win at home in over a month as the team’s will meet tonight again at 7:30p.m. at the Cominco Arena in Trail.
Josh Blanchard opened the scoring in the first period, as Cole McCaskill skated out from behind the Silverbacks goal and fired a pass out of the zone and up the middle to Blanchard who picked it up at centre and went it all alone on Smoke eaters netminder Brett Clark, Blanchard back-handed the puck up and in past Clark’s glove to open the scoring. Damion Chrcek picked up the second assist on Blanchard’s 8th of the season at 5:35. The Smoke Eaters tied the game at 1 in the first with Josh Laframboise penalized for roughing, Ryan Swanson potted his 3rd past Angus Redmond and Charlie Zuccarini assisted on the power-play goal at 14:48. The ‘Backs out-shot Trail 12-11.
19-year-old defenseman Jordan Burns who made his debut as a Silverback, after being acquired on Tuesday from the Powell River Kings for futures was called for hooking just 15 seconds into the middle period, giving the Smoke Eaters their second man-advantage of the game. The Silverbacks killed off the penalty and took their lead back as Andrew Farny scored the first goal of the 2nd period. Taro Hirose sent the puck to Farny at the blue-line off of a face-off to the left of the Smoke Eaters goal and Farny fired the puck toward the net and it deflected off of a Smoke Eater and past goalie Clark. Farny’s 8th of the season and on the power-play at 2:54 with Bryan Gerstenfeld off for hooking. Jeremy Lucchini was then called for hooking, but the ‘Backs couldn’t capitalize on their second consecutive power-play. Ross Heidt gave the home-team a 3-1 lead at 10:04 as he along with Laframboise and Hirose moved into the Trail zone all three alone behind the Smoke Eaters defense, they passed the puck back and forth before Heidt deposited his 8th. Phillip Middleton was then called for roughing, giving Trail it’s third power-play and the Smoke Eaters took advantage as Cooper Leitch scored his 4th from Zuccarini and Davidson at 12:08. The Silverbacks lead 3-2 after 40 minutes and the ‘Backs out-shot trail 16-13 in the second stanza.
4:37 into the third period, Laframboise skated the puck toward the net from inside of Smoke Eaters territory and Hirose followed up and fired it in for his 11th of the season at 4:37 to restore the Silverbacks two-goal lead. Laframboise and Bolduc with the assists as the ‘Backs lead 4-2. But with 5:07 remaining, Harlan Orr scored his 10th from Basilico to bring Trail back within one. The Silverbacks hung on though for the 4-3 win, their second consecutive victory and have now earned five points in their past three games. The Smoke Eaters have now lost 8 consecutive games.
The ‘Backs out-shot the Smoke Eaters 13-12 in the third period, and 41-36 overall. The Silverbacks power-play was 1-for-2, while the penalty-kill was 1-for-3.
Silverbacks Assistant Coach Misko Antisin assessed the game.
The Silverbacks are 12-13-3-5 with 32 points in 33 games and in fifth place in the BCHL’s Interior Division, 8 points behind the Merritt Centennials who won 6-3 in Vernon on Friday and the Cents are now off for their holiday break. The Silverbacks trail the West Kelowna Warriors by 9 points, as the Warriors lost 4-2 in Penticton on Friday and host the Vees tonight. The ‘Backs have a game in hand on both the Warriors and Centennials.
The Smoke Eaters are 12-18-0-2 with 26 points in 32 games, 14 points back of the Centennials, and 15 behind the Warriors with 2 games in hand on each team.
The Silverbacks lead the season series with the Smoke Eaters 3 games-to-1, winning both games at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm after a 7-4 victory on Friday, October 24th. The ‘Backs won 4-2 in Trail on Saturday, September 27th before losing in Trail on Wednesday, October 22nd. The Silverbacks are 7-6-1-3 on the road this season, while the Smoke Eaters are 7-8-0-1 at the Cominco Arena in Trail.
‘Backs Head Coach Brandon West with his thought’s pre-game.
All Silverbacks regular season and playoff games are webcast via http://www.fasthockey.com as well as audio only at http://mixlr.com/sasilverbacks/ Also, all Silverbacks road games are broadcast on CKVS-FM 93.7 http://www.voiceoftheshuswap Tonight’s broadcast from the Cominco Arena in Trail will begin with the Pre-game show at 7:15p.m., the opening Face-off is set for 7:30p.m.

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