The Silverbacks (23-28-2-3) will finish their regular season schedule tonight at home with the West Kelowna Warriors (27-28-0-2) at 7pm at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. The Silverbacks have won four straight, coming off of a 3-1 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals (24 28-2-3) on Wednesday night on Vancouver Island.
West Kelowna lost 8-3 last night to the Merritt Centennials (23-25-2-8) in the Nicola Valley. Salmon Arm has a record of 9-14-2-2 on home ice, 5-4-1-0 in February, and 15-15-3-1 in the Interior. West Kelowna is 11-16-0-2 on the road, 12-20-0-1 in the Interior, and is 5-6-0-0 in the final month of the regular season.
The Silverbacks have won 4 of the first 6 meetings with the Warriors, outscoring West Kelowna 25-22. The Silverbacks have been outscored 219-176 in the first 57 regular season games overall, while Rylan Ferster’s Warriors have been outscored 199-172 in 57 games. Salmon Arm has allowed just 2 goals in the past 4 games, the Silverbacks last loss was 4-3 at home to West-K last Wednesday at the Shaw Centre.
The Silverbacks sit sixth in Interior, 4 points behind both the Warriors and the Merritt Centennials (23-25-2-8) who are tied for third and the Cents played their final regular season game last night. Salmon Arm is 6 points behind the Trail Smoke Eaters (26-25-1-5) who sit alone in third. The top two teams in the Interior, the Penticon Vees (41-13-1-3) and the Vernon Vipers (29-19-4-5) will each receive a first round playoff bye.
The opening round in the Interior will feature the third ranked team meeting the sixth, and fourth versus fifth in Best-of-7 series which will begin early in March. West Kelowna is tied fourth in Interior with Merritt but, the Warriors can move into third with a win in Salmon Arm tonight, combined with a Smoke Eaters loss tonight in Vernon.
The Silverbacks are set to dress 10 forwards and 5 defensemen without an affiliate for the final regular season action tonight ahead of the post-season. Affiliate forwards Elan Bar Lev Wise and Josh Arnold each got into the lineup on Wednesday in Duncan. Arnold is 17-years-old and a product of Cloverdale, BC. Bar Lev Wise is a Vancouver product of the Burnaby Winter Club who has now committed to Silverbacks for next season, Bar Lev Wise celebrated his 16th birthday on the 1st of February. Akito Hirose and Marcus Mitchell each suffered serious injury last Saturday in the Silverbacks 5-1 victory over the Vees in the South Okanagan. Riley Hayles and Julian Timba are also out with season ending injury.
Each Silverbacks game is webcast PPV at hockeytv.com Each road game is broadcast live via voiceoftheshuswap.ca CKVS 93.7 FM and each home game is available audio only at mixlr.com/salmon-arm-silverbacks/ Tune into Salmon Arm community radio each Monday at 7pm, Tuesday at 7am for 30 minutes or more Silverbacks hockey talk.