Resiliency was the name of the game for ’Backs over the weekend as they swept the home-and-home series with their Interior Division rivals from West Kelowna.
After a disappointing 4-1 loss to Trail in the middle of last week, the Silverbacks responded with a thrilling come from behind 5-4 victory at the Shaw Centre on Friday evening.
With the man advantage and 59 seconds remaining in the extra frame, Elijiah Barriga played the hero as he scored his seventh goal of the season, overturning a four goal deficit and causing the Shaw Centre to erupt.
West Kelowna looked to be in cruise control thanks to there first period goals from Peter Tomaras and Blake Coffey plus a tally from Reed Gunville.
The Warriors wasted no time stretching the lead to four early in the second on a heads up play by West Kelowna’s giant, Scott Allan.
The ’Backs starter Brandon Kegler was chased from the crease after the fourth goal, making way for Trevin Kozlowski. The goaltending moved paid off as the ’Backs settled down and Justin Wilson kick started the comeback just over a minute and a half later with a great individual effort beating Xavier Burghardt short side over the shoulder.
Marcus Mitchell’s fifth of the season cut the Warriors lead in half heading into the third. Jared Turcotte and Connor Sundquist scored in quick succession midway through the frame, completing the comeback forcing overtime and setting the stage for Barriga’s overtime game winner.
Kozlowski earned his second win of the season as he slammed the door shut in the face of the Warriors making 26 saves in the process.
Head coach Brandon West stuck with the hot goalie, Kozlowski the following night in the Okanagan, and the Santa Clarita, Calif. native stymied the Warriors for the second straight night in a 6-4 victory. Despite falling behind by two early on, the Silverbacks once again rallied from behind to beat the Warriors. Ryley Booth scored twice and Josh Blanchard, Carson Bolduc, Hadyn Hopkins and Sundquist each added a tally.
With the pair of wins on the weekend, the ’Backs have leapfrogged the Warriors and now sit fifth in the division.
The ’Backs set out on a four game road swing to Powell River, Nanaimo, Coquitlam and Trail. They return to the Shaw Centre on Oct. 29 versus Victoria.