The Silverbacks (24-10-2-2) begin a three game home-stand tonight at 7p.m. versus the Vernon Vipers (17-23-0-3) at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. Tonight will be the first of back-to-back home games, as the ‘Backs host the West Kelowna Warriors (24-15-0-2) tomorrow night (Saturday) at 7p.m.
The Vipers lost 5-2 in West Kelowna on Tuesday and have won eight of their 21 road games.
The Silverbacks are 12-4-2-1 on home ice, and 12-6-0-1 on the road after back-to-back victories last weekend. The ‘Backs are now the the first and only team this season to beat the Penticton Vees (35-5-1-0) in Penticton. The Silverbacks won 4-2 last Saturday in the South Okanagan, handing the BCHL’s top ranked team their first loss at home since February 11th of last season which ended a run of 24 consecutive wins at home. The Silverbacks began last weekend with 4-0 shutout over the Wenatchee Wild (23-12-3-2) in their first ever regular season game south of the border in Washington state.
Angus Redmond was named the BCHL player of the week, and is ranked seventh among BCHL goaltenders with a goals-against-average of 2.85%. Redmond was credited with 51 saves in Wenatchee as the 20-year-old earned his third shutout of the season. Redmond then stopped 39 of 41 shots in Penticton on Saturday, turning aside 90 of 92 shots in back-to-back games.
Salmon Arm’s Carson Bolduc scored three goals in the two road games and leads the team in scoring with 17 goals and 31 assists in 38 games. Ross Heidt scored the winner in the third period on Saturday and leads the Silverbacks with 22 goals in 38 games.
The ‘Backs have now won three of the five regular season meetings with the Vees, earning seven of 10 points. Two regular season meetings remain and both will be at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm as the Silverbacks will host Penticton on Friday, February 19th and again on Saturday, February 27th, each 7p.m. starts.
Meanwhile, the Silverbacks have taken all four games versus the Vipers. The ‘Backs began with a 5-4 victory in Vernon on October 28th, 5-1 at home over the Vipers on November 27th, a 4-3 victory in Vernon on November 28th and won 5-2 in Vernon on December 9th. The regular season series wraps up with a back-to-back, home-and-home set which will begin in Vernon on Friday, January 29th before the ‘Backs host the Vipers on Saturday, January 30th and both games are set for 7p.m.
Tonight will be the Silverbacks debut of Mitch Skapski. The ‘Backs acquired the 19-year-old this past Sunday from the Chilliwack Chiefs (27-8-1-4) in exchange for future considerations. The forward out of Abbotsford, BC had seven goals and 29 assists in 34 games with Chiefs. Skapski has played 143 games in the Western Hockey League, totalling six goals and 13 assists along with 74 penalty-minutes from 2012-2015 with Everett, Victoria and Saskatoon.
The ‘Backs are 14-4-0-2 versus the Interior Division and will host the Merritt Centennials (14-25-0-3) on Tuesday, January 19th at 7p.m. The Vees remain atop the Interior and BCHL with 71 points. The Silverbacks sit second with 52 points, two points ahead of the Warriors. The Silverbacks have three games in hand on West Kelowna.
The Silverbacks are hosting a special guest today, as BC Lions linebacker Adam Bighill is in Salmon Arm and will be at the game tonight. The five season CFL veteran was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, and has turned his facial defect into a strength and he believes he can help others do the same. Bighill has joined the board of Making Faces, a Toronto-based charity dedicated to helping others cope with facial differences. The 27-year-old was named the CFL’s top defensive player this past season.
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.