Overconfidence following the previous night’s victory may have been the deciding factor in the Silverbacks’ 5-2 loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters on Saturday night.
The ‘Backs hit the ice at the Shaw Centre fresh from a 6-3 road win in the first half of a home-and-home series against Trail on Friday.
“We didn’t compete. We just thought it would be an easy game because we did play well last night,” said ‘Backs head coach Misko Antisin following the game.
“We did everything that was asked of us last night and tonight we didn’t do that. It’s disappointing.”
The ‘Backs started the game strong as Carter Stephenson picked a Smoke Eater’s pocket at the blue line, setting up a pass to Josh Latta which he slapped home for the game’s opening goal eight minutes in.
Four minutes later, Silverbacks defenceman Carter Cochrane was tripped up driving hard to the net for what might’ve been the Silverbacks’ second goal. Jonas Gordon served a two-minute penalty for the trip; the ‘Backs were unable to score on the powerplay.
The game was physical from the opening face off, with both teams playing nasty in the corners and trading shoves in front of the net.
Nathan Iannone went to the box 14 minutes into the period for a double-minor high-sticking penalty, giving Trail a man advantage for four minutes. The Smoke Eaters capitalized seconds into the power play with a goal from former Silverback Josh Laframboise, tying the game 1-1.
Neither team was able to score in the second frame, despite taking turns playing short a skater, thanks to a string of penalties.
Stephenson was slow to get up after being levelled in the corner by Trail’s towering 6’5″ forward Kale Howart 13 minutes into the period. Howarth served a two-minute boarding penalty for the hit.
The period concluded with Josh Latta going to the box on a slashing penalty, but the score remained 1-1 heading into the final period.
‘Backs goaltender Nic Tallarico stood tall early in the third, coming up with a blocker save in the face of a breakaway shot from Andre Ghantous.
Laframboise struck again seven minutes into the period beating Tallarico thanks to an assist from Tyson Slater. Seconds later, Luke Santerno, one of the leaders of Trail’s offence scored to make the score 3-1.
Defenceman Cochrane went on to score 12 minutes into the period assisted by Josh Blanchard and Austin Chorney.
The Silverbacks rained 23 shots down on Trail’s goaltender Zach Dyment in the third period. Dyment faced 42 shots in total on his way to being named the game’s first star.
Trail scored again with six minutes left to play, as Mitchell Barker fired a shot through traffic past Tallarico.
Howarth sealed the deal with an empty net goal in the final minute, leaving the final score 5-2.
The Silverbacks are on the road to play Vernon on Jan. 13. Despite the humbling loss to Trail, and his team’s poor record against the Viper’s this season Antisin believes the ‘Backs have a chance.
“We haven’t had very much success against Vernon and if our group thinks it’s going to be easy we’re in a lot of trouble. I think we’re going to be ok, we’re gonna work hard this week again,” he said.