The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are unbeaten in the 2016-17 BCHL pre-season, following a 5-5 tie on the road last night (Wednesday) with the Merritt Centennials in the Nicola Valley.
The ‘Backs opened the scoring just 17 seconds into the pre-season courtesy of 18-year-old Grayson Constable. The first season Silverback scored 14 goals and 37 points in 34 Midget AAA games last season with his hometown Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The Centennials scored the final 3 goals of the first and lead 3-1 after 1. The Silverbacks outshot the Cents 20-10 with 18-year-old Braden Ross starting in goal.
The ‘Backs outscored Merritt 2-1 in the second period to get within 1, as the Centennials took a 4-3 lead into the third. The Silverbacks lead 18-14 on the shot clock, and 38-24 overall.
Julian Timba and Jaden Hay scored the second period goals for Salmon Arm. Timba of Oceanside, California will be 18-years-old in December and has played the past 2 seasons in the Anaheim Junior Ducks system where the defenceman had 6 goals and 14 points in 32 games last season in the Junior Ducks under-18 program. Hay is a Salmon Arm product who will be 18 in September and he put up 7 goals and 12 points in 46 games last season with the Sicamous Eagles of the KIJHL.
Justin Wilson tied the game 4-4 early in third, the 18-year-old of North Vancouver, BC played 3 games with the Silverbacks last season as well as 39 games with the North West Giants AAA where he scored 28 goals and totalled 68 points.
The Cents took the lead back just 66 seconds after Wilson’s goal, Aaron Aragon scored the final goal of the game. The 19-year-old of Whittier, California had 16 goals and 31 points in 39 regular season games last season with the KIJHL’s Revelstoke Grizzlies.
The Silverbacks outshot the Cents 16-10 in the third and 54-34 total with Ross facing the majority of the shots, the 18-year-old of Knoxville, Tennesse is set to play this season with the Steamboat Springs Wranglers in Colorado. Michael Botiz, an 18-year-old goalie of Oakville, Ontario made a brief appearance in the second period. Botiz had an 8-11 record, 3.50 goals-against-average and an .887 saves-percentage in 20 games last season with Oakville Blades in the OJHL.
The Silverbacks dressed 20 players for their pre-season opener, a line-up that did not include any of the returning players. 30 players total remain from the 41 who started camp on Monday morning.
The ‘Backs will now prepare for a weekend home-and-home set with the raining BCHL and National champion West Kelowna Warriors, the Silverbacks will visit West Kelowna tomorrow (Friday) at 7pm and host the Warriors on Saturday, August 27th at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm beginning at 7pm. All tickets are $6.00.
The pre-season will conclude on September 2nd and 3rd with a home-and-home set with the Vernon Vipers, the ‘Backs will host the Vipers on Friday, September 2nd at 7pm at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.
The Silverbacks will begin the regular season on Friday, September 9th at home to the Vernon Vipers at 7pm.