’Backs still searching for preseason win

Seventeen players have been cut since the Silverbacks main camp started last week.

Knocked down: The Warriors' Stephen Kleysen trips the Silverbacks Nathan Iannone as he enters the offensive zone during exhibition play at the Shaw Centre on Saturday.

Knocked down: The Warriors' Stephen Kleysen trips the Silverbacks Nathan Iannone as he enters the offensive zone during exhibition play at the Shaw Centre on Saturday.

Seventeen players have been cut since the Silverbacks main camp started last week.

The 41-player field has been whittled down to just 24, and there are still two cuts to be made before the start of the regular season.

As the Silverbacks enter week two of the exhibition season, they are still searching for their first win.

The ’Backs kick started their preseason with a 5-5 tie with  Merritt.

The ’Backs got off to a convincing start in the Nicola Valley when 18-year-old Grayson Constable scored just 17 seconds into the contest. Julian Timba, Jaden Hay, Aaron Aragon and Justin Wilson also added their names to the score sheet, in a game that didn’t feature any returning ’Backs.

Over the weekend, the  gorillas played in a home-and-home set with the raining BCHL and national champion West Kelowna Warriors.

The Silverbacks fell 2-1 to the Warriors in West Kelowna on Friday night.

The following night the ’Backs dropped a 4-3 decision in their first action at the Shaw Centre this season.

West Kelowna took a 1-0 lead into the second period, despite being outshot 12-7.

Silverbacks returnees saw their first action of the preseason on Saturday.

Carson Bolduc, Josh Blanchard, Mitch Skapski, Jared Turcotte, Ryley Booth, Elijiah Barriga, Cameron Trott, along with new signing Carter Cochrane, took to the ice.

Returning forward Marcus Mitchell watched Saturday’s game at the Shaw Centre, as well as forward Connor Sundquist and rookie defencemen Spencer Hora and Julian Timba.

The Warriors secured a 3-0 lead after the first 40 minutes of play.

The ’Backs 19-year-old Turcotte got the home team on the board just over a minute into the third, and rookie forward Wilson cut the Warriors lead to one, with his second of the preseason just four minutes later.

West Kelowna regained their two goal lead a few moments later, on the man advantage. Turcotte was penalized for checking from behind and was given a game misconduct.

In the final five minutes of the game, blueliner Cam Trott blasted a shot past the Warriors’ netminder for his first of the preseason.

With the clock against them, the Silverbacks came up short in the end, losing 4-3.

Goaltender Michael Botiz started and finished Saturday’s game allowing four goals on 26 shots in his first pre-season start.

The Silverbacks power-play finished 0-for-4 on Saturday, while the penalty kill was 0-for-1.

Salmon Arm will conclude their preseason schedule this weekend, with a home-and-home series against with the Vernon Vipers.

The Silverbacks will host the Vipers on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Shaw Centre.

A week later, on Sept. 9, the ’Backs and Vipers will meet again to renew hostilities in the season opener at 7 p.m. in Salmon Arm at the Shaw Centre.

 

Salmon Arm Observer

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