Two more wins, a trade, a new assistant coach.
It’s been a busy pre-season for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
On the ice, Salmon Arm improved to 4-0 in the B.C. Hockey League exhibition slate with a home-and-home sweep of the Merritt Centennials.
Nathan Mackie and Isaac Lambert each scored twice for the ‘Backs Saturday, Sept. 10, in Merritt, in a 6-3 decision. Mathieu Bourgault and Owen Beckner had the other Salmon Arm goals as the Silverbacks built up period leads of 2-0 and 3-2.
Rhys Netherton picked up the win in goal, making 28 saves.
The next night at the Shaw Centre, Matthew Tovell also made 28 saves and didn’t give up a goal as Salmon Arm blanked the Cents 3-0.
Mackie scored his fifth of the exhibition season to open the scoring, while Jayden Grier and CJ Foley added third-period markers late in the frame into empty nets.
Off the ice, Salmon Arm sent returning forward Mathieu Cobetto-Roy to Interior Conference rivals Trail Smoke Eaters for future considerations.
Cobetto-Roy spent last season in Salmon Arm. In 46 games, he scored 12 goals, and added 14 assists for 26 points.
Silverbacks general manager Brooks Christensen wanted to give Cobetto-Roy a better chance to grow his game.
“We felt Mathieu needed an opportunity to play a bigger role, and we did not feel that he was going to get that in Salmon Arm. We wish him all the best in Trail.”
Christensen also hired Kip Noble as an assisant coach for the Silverbacks.
Noble spent time coaching at the Okanagan Hockey Academy from 2014-2020. He coached the 2014/15 Bantam team to a Prep Championship. In the 2015/16 season he was an assistant coach for all teams in the OHA. From 2016 to 2020, he was the head coach of the Elite 15 team.
“We are thrilled to add Kip to our hockey operations,” said Christensen. “Kip brings high energy, knowledge and experience of the game that we think will fit in perfectly with our current staff. He’s another piece to our staff that will benefit our players development on and off the ice.”
Noble is excited to continue his coaching career with the Silverbacks.
“Being a part of a BCHL coaching staff is something that I have wanted for a very long time,” he said. “I am extremely proud and excited to be a member of the Silverbacks organization, and am looking forward to a successful season.”
While Noble brings years of coaching experience, he has also had quite the playing career. He suited up for Michigan Tech Huskies where he holds the record as the highest scoring defenceman in team history. During his time at Michigan Tech, he tallied 123 points in 156 games played. Noble was inducted into the MTU Hall of Fame in 2018.
Salmon Arm will close out the pre-season schedule with a home-and-home series against the Prince George Spruce Kings. The two teams play in PG Thursday, Sept. 15, and return to the Shaw Centre for a game Saturday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m.
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