The Vipers came out throwing their weight around in the first shift, unfortunately it resulted in an elbowing penalty and the Silverbacks would take advantage just 92 seconds into the game as Nick Hutchison finished off a nice 2 on 1 to give the visitors a quick lead. A few minutes later, the Vipers thought they tied the game as Jimmy Lambert would flip a puck up over Redmond. The goal was disallowed when Redmond pushed off the post, the net came off its moorings and the goal waved off. It was unclear if the puck crossed the line first, the referees conversed and the no goal stood to keep the game 1-0. The Vipers caught a break late in the period when Ryley Booth took a 5 minute major penalty for a Blow to the Head. It was the Silverbacks who would score first on that PP as Josh Blanchard outworked two Vipers and drove the net and slid home a shorthanded goal to make it 2-0 SA. The Vipers would get one right back as Colton McCarthy put home a rebound off a point shot to make it 2-1 Backs after 1 period.
It was a pretty evenly matched second period with both sides playing hard and generating chances. Play got a little chippy when Cam Coutre was ejected for a check from behind on Bo Pellah, then there was a scrap as Brett Stapley dropped the gloves with Josh Blanchard behind the Viper goal in a spirited tilt for the youngest player on the ice. The Silverbacks would get the only goal of the period as Mac Ferner tried to rim a puck up the wall, but it deflected off Taro Hirose right in front of the net where Ross Heidt would score to make it 3-1. It was a tough play for Ferner as he made the right decision, but the ricochet couldn't have gone to a worse spot than it did.
The Vipers trailed by 2 goals to start the third period and didn't play poorly. The Silverbacks play a smothering defense and they really clogged up the neutral zone keeping the Vipers speed to a minimum. Marcus Mitchell would score a back breaker for the Backs as he wrapped a puck around and it found its way through Shortridge to make it 4-1. There was a cause for argument from the Vipers who argued that the play should've been blown dead because the ref would've lost sight of the puck before it crossed the line, but the goal would stand and the Vipers were in an even bigger hole. Bo Pellah would set up a beautiful one timer from Riley Brandt just 26 seconds later that beat Redmond to make it 4-2. The Vipers found themselves shorthanded right after that though and Colton Thibault restored the Backs 3 goal lead before Chase Zieky put the game away finishing off a nice 3 on 2 rush to make the final score 6-2.
Here is the official box score:
|1-0 Salmon Arm Silverbacks at 1:32 (PP) - Nick Hutchison from Carson Bolduc|
|2-0 Salmon Arm Silverbacks at 17:43 (SH) - Josh Blanchard (unassisted)|
|2-1 Vernon Vipers at 18:17 (PP) - Colton McCarthy from Riley Brandt and Darren Rizzolo|
|3-1 Salmon Arm Silverbacks at 13:42 - Ross Heidt from Taro Hirose|
|4-1 Salmon Arm Silverbacks at 15:55 - Marcus Mitchell from Mitch Newsome and Jared Turcotte|
|4-2 Vernon Vipers at 16:21 - Riley Brandt from Jagger Williamson and Mitchell Oliver|
|5-2 Salmon Arm Silverbacks at 17:37 - Colton Thibault (unassisted)|
|6-2 Salmon Arm Silverbacks at 18:23 - Chase Zieky from Nick Hutchison|
|STARS OF THE GAME|
|1st STAR||2nd STAR||3rd STAR|
|Salmon Arm Silverbacks|
|Salmon Arm Silverbacks|
|Salmon Arm Silverbacks||2||1||3||6|
|Salmon Arm Silverbacks||13||11||13||37|
|Salmon Arm Silverbacks||1 for 8 (12.5%)|
|Vernon Vipers||1 for 7 (14.3%)|
Its a tough go right now for a young Vipers team who are struggling with their confidence. This has been an opportunity with so many home games, for the Vipers to make hay in the division and they've dropped a three in a row now. Still no need for the dreaded panic button. This team just needs to keep the work ethic up. The Silverbacks are a very good, veteran club and played like one. The Vipers at time played like a young team who are still trying to find themselves.
Mark Ferner has said that it seems to be coming down to trust. This team has the potential to put it all together, but must trust the system and structures.
The Vipers will get another opportunity to put it all together Friday night as they welcome the Trail Smoke Eaters for the third and final time this season. Its an internet only game and you can catch it on the Vipers MixLR and Fasthockey starting at 6:45