The Silverbacks (18-8-2-1) visit the Vernon Vipers (14-17-0-2) tonight (Wednesday) at 7p.m., in Vernon for the fourth meeting of the season between the division rivals. The ‘Backs have won the first three meetings after a 5-4 victory in Vernon on Wednesday, October 28th and 5-1 in Salmon Arm on Friday, November 27th before a 4-3 victory back in Vernon on Saturday, November 28th.
The Silverbacks are 9-4-0-0 on the road, 1-1-0-0 on Wednesday’s and 0-2-0-0 to begin December. The ‘Backs dropped back-to-back home games this past weekend, 5-3 to the Langley Rivermen (18-12-0-0) on Saturday, December 5th and 3-2 to the Cowichan Valley Capitals (16-11-1-3) on Sunday, December 6th.
The Vipers are coming off of a 3-1 victory at home over the Capitals on Saturday, and were shutout 3-0 on the road on Friday by the Penticton Vees (28-2-1-0).
Salmon Arm is still second in the Interior Division standings, with 39 points and 18 back of the first place Vees. The ‘Backs are three points up on the West Kelowna Warriors (17-12-0-2) and have three games in hand. The Vipers sit fourth, six behind the Warriors and nine points back of the Silverbacks. The Trail Smoke Eaters (13-17-0-0) are in the fifth spot and trail Vernon by four, while the Merritt Centennials (10-20-0-2) sit at the bottom of the Interior but four points behind the Smoke Eaters.
The Silverbacks are 11-2-0-1 versus the Interior Division as they begin the second half of the 58 game BCHL regular season. The Vipers are 6-9-0-1 versus the division and 9-6-0-1 in Vernon.
The Vipers will be without forward Liam Finlay who was one of nine BCHL players chosen from Team Canada West’s selection camp this past week. Finlay has 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 points in 32 games with the Vipers. Odeen Tufto leads Vernon with 11 goals and 20 assists in 33 games. Silverbacks defenseman Cameron Trott was not chosen after attending the selection camp this past week in Leduc, Alberta.
Taro Hirose leads the Silverbacks in scoring with 7 goals and 30 assists in 29 games, 5 points up on both Carson Bolduc and Ross Heidt.
The ‘Backs have scored 121 goals in 29 games, the third highest total behind the Vees and Nanaimo Clippers (21-10-0-1). The Silverbacks have allowed 81 goals, the fifth lowest goals against in the BCHL. Vernon has scored 100 goals and have allowed 105 in 33 games.
The Silverbacks power-play is ranked fifth in the league at over 22-percent, with 36 power-play goals and 28 against. The Vipers PP is seventh at over 20-percent with 35 goals and 32 against. The ‘Backs and Vipers sit seventh and eighth respectively on the penalty-kill. The Silverbacks PK is at over 82-percent and leads the BCHL with 10 short-handed markers, while allowing five. The Vipers are at more than 79-percent, with two short-handed goals and four against.
The ‘Backs next home game will be on Friday, December 11th at 7p.m.when they host the Vees in just the second meeting of the regular season. That game will come three months to the date since the two teams opened the regular season in Salmon Arm and the ‘Backs won 4-2. The Silverbacks will then make their first trip to Penticton on Saturday, December 12th at 6p.m.
Each Silverbacks and BCHL game is webcast live, PPV http://bchl.fasthockey.com as 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.