The Silver Knights experienced a serious case of deja vu Friday night.
Game 2 of their first-round series against the Colorado Eagles played out almost exactly like the first one at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado. Which is the opposite of what the Silver Knights wanted.
They lost 5-2 for the second time in a row to end the best-of-three series and their second season. The one key difference was the presence of coach Manny Viveiros, who returned the bench after starting a medical leave of absence April 19 as part of his recovery from prostate cancer.
“I just wanted to get back,” Viveiros said. “I just needed to get back with the guys.”
The Silver Knights, much like their parent club, had an eventful season. Injuries and call-ups to the Golden Knights kept their roster in a constant state of flux. Viveiros had to take three medical leave of absences after a routine training camp physical September led to his diagnosis.
Things did start looking up for the Silver Knights at the end of the year. They played for the first time in their new stadium, The Dollar Loan Center, on April 2. A home-heavy finish to their schedule helped them end on a six-game winning streak and nine-game point streak. They were confident heading into the playoffs despite being the sixth seed in the Pacific Division.
Third-seeded Colorado proved to be a tough challenge, however. The Eagles went up 2-0 and 3-1 in Game 2 just like they did in Game 1 on Wednesday. The Silver Knights power play again struggled, going 0-for-6 in Game 1 and 0-for-5 in Game 2.
Left wing Pavel Dorofeyev, who led the Silver Knights in goals (27) and points (52) in the regular season, scored the team’s first goal as part of an excellent second period. Colorado then came out strong in the third. The Eagles led in shots on goal 17-10 in the final frame and scored three times. Defenseman Layton Ahac got the second Silver Knights’ goal with 5:38 remaining.
“Our group never quit at any time of the year,” Viveiros said. “They just kept going forward every single day. That’s really good for some of these young players as far as their professional careers.”
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