The Cents got an outburst of goals, unfortunately it came in the third period when the game was already out of reach as they fell to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7-4 at the Shaw Centre on Friday night.
The first period didn’t start well as the Silverbacks got on the board early courtesy their Captain Grayson Constable. He found a lose puck to the side of the Centennial net, and put it in the empty cage as Jake Berger was caught out of position after an early scramble in front. The Cents weren’t able to spend much time in the offensive zone, as the Silverback D were very aggressive at the offensive blue line and in neutral ice and allowed only 4 shots on net in the 1st period. The Silverbacks got another one in the first from Tanner Campbell, who was able to find another rebound in front of Berger to make it 2-0 after 20 minutes of play.
In the second period Rhett Kingston got on the board for the Silverbacks not as early as they did in the first, but 3 minutes in. He was able to walk out to the high slot between the circle after curling from behind the net, and got his team leading 6th goal of the season. The Silverbacks then got an opportunity on the powerplay and made the Cents pay, this time Trey Thomas fired a backhander up and over Berger to make it 4-0. Alex Bourhas answered at the 13:15 mark of the second period with a backhander of his own, the assists coming from Mckullen Astill and Henry Cleghorn. After taking a hit from 3 Silverback players Bourhas got up and went to the net, Cleghorn played behind for Mckullen Astill and he fed it out in the slot for Bourhas. That’s how the second period ended with the score 4-1.
Three unanswered goals started the third period from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Goals from Markus Mitchell, a second of the night from Tanner Campbell, and a first of the BCHL from Nick Unruh before the Cents offense finally came to life. It started after a series of penalties from both teams left the Silverbacks with a 4-3 advantage. Shorthanded Rylan Van Unen was able to use the open ice to his advantage streaking wide on the left wing before cutting to the net, getting in tight on Bo Didur, then pulling it from his forehand back to chip it up and over the blocker. That started a late game flurry from the Cents as Nick Wicks gained the line on the left side with Ashton Stockie streaking on the right side. Wicks was able to saucer it right onto the tape of Stockie who blasted it top corner on Didur to make it 7-3, but the Cents weren’t done there. With time expiring in the third, Jackson Munro pinched in on the left point and threw out a centering pass that went off a Silverback defender and in for his first in the BCHL to make it 7-4.
After the game, Head Coach Joe Martin said his team didn’t make the adjustment to the Silverbacks’ defensive style until too late.
“Their defense was playing really aggressive on the offensive blueline and in the neutral zone, and we took too long to recognize that as a group. We had to make the simple play and chip it behind them.”
The Cents will look to simplify their game as they head into a 3 game week after the Thanksgiving long weekend. Prince George on Wednesday, followed by Penticton on Friday, before a home game against Wenatchee on Saturday.