The Quesnel Millioniares entered their Sunday afternoon game against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks just four points ahead of the Prince George Spruce Kings in the race for the seventh and final playoff spot in the BCHL interior conference standings.
Unfortunately, the Silverbacks sent the Mills packing with a 6-3 loss and the Spruce Kings earned a victory in Merritt to trim the Mills lead in the race for the final playoff spot to two points.
The Mills opened the scoring against host Salmon Arm, less than four minutes into the game, on a goal by Derek Huisman, his 12th of the season.
Salmon Arm then scored two goals, Jarryd Ten Vaanholt on the powerplay and Bryce Gervais, to take a 2-1 lead after one period of play.
Bradley Buckingham evened the score up for the Mills with his second goal of the season, seven minutes into the second period, but Salmon Arm jumped in front 3-2 on Gervais’ second goal of the season.
The Mills responded just seconds later as Thomas Hardy ripped the rebound off Chris Albee’s shot passed Salmon Arm netminder Kurt Williams.
That’s as close as the Mills came as the Silverbacks scored a goal late in the second period to take a 4-3 lead and beat Mills netminder Bryant Udy two more times in the third period to round out the scoring.
The Mills had chances in the third period, outshooting the Silverbacks 8-5, but couldn’t capitalize on their chances.
In Merritt, the Spruce Kings skated to a 4-1 win over the Centennials to give them 28 points in the standings, just two points behind the Millionaires.
The Mills and Spruce Kings will face each one more time this season, Tuesday, Feb. 8, as part of a five-game homestand for the Mills that begins Feb. 5 against the Nanaimo Clippers.