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Salmon Arm Silverbacks double Vernon Vipers

Make the final 6-3 at the Shaw Centre as the BCHL pre-season schedule begins; teams meet Tuesday in Vernon
The hometown Salmon Arm Silverbacks (grey) defeated the Vernon Vipers 6-3 as the B.C. Hockey League pre-season schedule for both teams kicked off Sunday, Sept. 4, in the Shuswap. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography file)

The host Salmon Arm Silverbacks doubled the Vernon Vipers 6-3 in the opening B.C. Hockey League pre-season game for both clubs Sunday, Sept. 4, at the Shaw Centre.

The two clubs meet again Tuesday, Sept. 6, 7 p.m., at Kal Tire Place.

“We had some very good moments in tonight’s game,” said Vipers head coach and general manager Jason McKee.

“Unfortunately we had a bad 10 minutes in the second period which ultimately cost us the game.”

The two teams traded goals in the first period as Owen Beckner struck for the Backs and Ethan Merner responding in the final minute of the frame. Shots finished 11-11.

Salmon Arm’s offence took advantage of the long change in the second as Beckner scored his second of the night set up by Brandon Santa Juana. Late in the period the Salmon Arm rattled off three goals in four minutes as Nathan Mackie, Nic Leggett and Mathieu Cobetto-Roy scored.

Ludovik Tardif scored his first goal of the preseason for Vernon, finishing off a nice play set up by Hank Cleaves.

An unfortunate bounce restored the four-goal lead for the Gorillas as Mackie converted on strange bounce from behind the net. Dane Westen scored his first goal of the preseason late for the visitors, but that’s as close as the Vipers would come.

“There were some very good individual efforts tonight which was nice to see,” said McKee. “That being said it’s very early and mistakes are going to happen.We move forward into tomorrow (Tuesday) and look to improve during practice.”

Rookie netminder Carter Richardson made 30 saves on 33 shots for the win, while Vernon returnee Ethan David turned aside 32 of 38.

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