The Silverbacks (20-9-2-1) are back on home ice tonight, as they will play their final game before the BCHL holiday break at home to the Powell River Kings at 7p.m. at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.
The Silverbacks lost 6-3 on the road last night to the Trail Smoke Eaters (17-18-0-0). The Smoke Eaters opened the scoring in the first period and lead 2-0 after 20 minutes. The ‘Backs outshot the Smoke Eaters 12-11 as Angus Redmond got the start for the visitors.
Josh Blanchard’s 11th of the season put the Silverbacks on the board and within one, a short-handed marker just 18 seconds into the middle frame as Jared Turcotte was penalized for tripping. Turcotte then tied the game 2-2 at 3:16 for his fifth of the season. But, in under two minutes the Smoke Eaters took their lead back. Chase Zieky’s 15th tied the score 3-3 at 8:41 and the Smoke Eaters responded with 4:22 remaining in the second period and took a 4-3 lead into the third. Trail outshot the Silverbacks 14-8 in the middle frame.
The home team then scored the only two goals in the final period, 5-3 just 47 seconds into the period and 6-3 at 11:18.
The Silverbacks outshot Trail 10-7 in the final frame, but the Smoke Eaters outshot the ‘Backs 32-30 total.
The Silverbacks finished 0-for-1 on their only power-play in the first period, and 3-for-4 on the penalty-kill which included another short-handed marker.
The ‘Backs still lead the season series, now 2-1 with the final three meetings set for three of the four Tuesday’s in February of next year. The Silverbacks are now 10-5-0-1 on the road, 13-3-0-2 versus the Interior Division, 2-3-0-1 in December and 4-1-0-0 versus the Island Division.
Powell River lost 4-3 last night on the road against the Langley Rivermen (19-13-1-0). The Kings are 8-7-0-2 away from Powell River, 3-3-0-0 in the Interior and 2-2-0-2 in December.
Ayrton Nikkel made his Silverbacks debut last night and will make his home ice debut tonight. The 20-year-old defenceman was acquired last week.
Taro Hirose is atop the Silverbacks in scoring, with seven goals and 34 assists in 33 games. Salmon Arm’s Carson Bolduc is next with 11 goals and 28 helpers in 33 games. Tristan Mullen leads Powell River with 17 goals and 11 assists in 32 games.
The Silverbacks have scored 137 goals in 33 games, and are averaging over four goals a game which is good for second in the BCHL. Powell River has 114 goals in 32 games, 10th in the league averaging more than three goals each game. The ‘Backs have allowed the fifth fewest number of goals at 95 and are averaging just under three goals against. The Kings have given up 88 goals for the third fewest total and are under three goals each game.
The Silverbacks power-play is ranked fifth in the BCHL at over 22-percent, with 39 power-play markers and 29 against. The Kings man-advantage sits 10th at over 19-percent, with 26 power-play goals and 17 against. Powell River’s penalty-kill is working at 84-percent, with four short-handed goals and 35 against. The ‘Backs PK is seventh at over 82-percent, and leading the BCHL with 11 short-handed goals along with just five goals against.
The Silverbacks still sit second in the Interior Division, but just two points behind the West Kelowna Warriors (20-13-0-2) who shutout the Penticton Vees (30-4-1-0) 2-0 last night in West Kelowna. The Merritt Centennials (11-23-0-2) won 3-2 on the road versus the Vernon Vipers (15-20-0-3). The Smoke Eaters are now fourth in the Interior, one point up on the Vipers.
The Silverbacks will make their lone regular season visit to Powell River on Sunday, February 14th at 3p.m.
The Silverbacks will have 12 days before beginning the new year at home to the Surrey Eagles (5-28-1-0) on Friday, January 1st at 7p.m. The ‘Backs visit the Vees again on Saturday, January 2nd at 6p.m.
Each Silverbacks and BCHL game is webcast live, PPV http://bchl.fasthockey.comas well as each ‘Backs road game is broadcast live at CKVS 93.7 FM http://voiceoftheshuswap.ca Each home game is broadcast at http://bit.ly/1s0deO7 Tune into CKVS each Monday night throughout the season beginning at 7p.m. for 30 minutes or more of Silverbacks talk, including interviews and news from around the BCHL.