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Backs head on bus to take on Centennials at 7 PM

The Silverbacks (23-26-1-3) will visit the Merritt Centennials (22-26-1-4) tonight (Saturday) at 7pm, less than 24 hours after Salmon Arm was shutout 3-0 at home by the Victoria Grizzlies (30-17-3-4).
The home team took the first two penalties on Friday night, Trevor Adams for cross-checking just 29 seconds into the first and Brandon Whistle was called for slashing at 6:37. Each team had a pair of power-play’s in the opening period but neither team found the back of the net. Victoria lead 9-8 on the shot clock.
 
The Grizzlies opened the scoring at 3:57 of the second, 1-0. Each team had one man-advantage in the second, as Logan Mostat went off for tripping at 10:05. The Silverbacks outshot the Grizzlies 17-14, and 25-23 Salmon Arm after 40 minutes.
 
Sol Seibel began the third with a roughing penalty at 1:53. Salmon Arm had back-to-back power-play’s twice in the final frame, including a 5-on-3 for 19 seconds. The Grizzlies Marty Westhaver then potted back-to-back short-handed goals, at 11:17 and at 19:09 into an empty net as well. Westhaver finished with a hat-trick as he also opened the scoring and now has 14 goals this season.
 
The Silverbacks outshot Victoria 16-8 in the third and 41-31 total. Kyle Dumba made 28 saves in his second consecutive loss. Kurtis Chapman stopped 41 shots for the Grizzlies and earned his second shutout of the season. 
 
Salmon Arm was 0-for-6 on the power-play and 4-on-4 on the penalty-kill last night (Friday).
 
The Silverbacks and Grizzlies split the season series after Salmon Arm’s 3-2 double overtime victory in Victoria on Sunday, October 29th. The Silverbacks have finished with a regular season record of 6-4-1-0 versus the Island division.
 
Salmon Arm has lost back-to-back games and shutout in each. The Silverbacks now have five shutout losses this season and nine losses when scoring just one goal. Salmon Arm’s last victory came last Wednesday, February 7th and 5-2 at the Coquitlam Express (14-37-3-1). The Express have clinched the final playoff spot in the BCHL, Coquitlam will be seeded eighth in the Interior and face the first place team.
The Silverbacks are now 2-3-0-0 in February, while the Centennials have a record of 4-3-0-0 in the final month of the regular season. Merritt leads the season series three games to two and the Cents won the last meeting 4-2 on Saturday, January 6th in the Nicola Valley. The Silverbacks are 14-11-0-1 at the Shaw Centre and 9-15-1-2 on the road, while the Centennials are 12-10-0-2 on home ice. Salmon Arm is 9-20-0-2 versus the Interior and Merritt is 12-19-0-2 within the division. 
 
The Cents won 5-2 last night (Friday) at the Chilliwack Chiefs (25-22-3-3), Merritt has won three straight. The Silverbacks sit sixth in the Interior, just one point ahead of the Centennials and each will have four regular season games remaining after tonight (Saturday).
 
Austin Chorney, Logan Mostat, Trey Thomas and Julian Timba each returned to action on Friday after each sat out due to illness. Demetri Kambeitz watched last night (Friday), as he was suspended but the BCHL for exceeding five fighting majors in a regular season. Grayson Constable took a hit in the second period on Friday and did not return.
Max Wutzke is recovering in hospital in the lower mainland after multiple surgeries on his left leg. The 19-year-old defenseman from Calgary, AB was hit into the boards early in the first period of February 7th’s game in Coquitlam. Lucas Wong of the Express was suspended six games for a match penalty for checking from behind.
Each game is webcast PPV at hockeytv.com Road games are broadcast via voiceoftheshuswap.ca CKVS 93.7 FM and Home games are available, audio only at mixlr.com/salmon-arm-silverbacks
Home game tickets are $14, (Srs $12, Under 12 – $7). A $25 family pack includes includes 2 Adults and 2 Children’s tickets, along with 4 complimentary Silverbacks hats.
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