SALMON ARM, B.C., OCTOBER 8, 2016 – The Silverbacks (3-6) host the Surrey Eagles (2-6-0-1) on Saturday night at 7pm at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm, one night after the ‘Backs began this Thanksgiving weekend with a 5-3 victory on the road over the defending BCHL and National champion West Kelowna Warriors (5-4). As well, the Eagles won 3-2 in Vernon in overtime on Friday.
The Warriors opened the scoring on Friday, Reid Gunville’s fifth and a power-play marker at 2:48 into the opening period with Carson Bolduc penalized for interference. Marcus Mitchell tied the game less than two minutes later, 1-1 at 4:44 for his second of the season.
Haydn Hopkins made his Silverbacks debut on Friday and gave the ‘Backs their first lead of the game at 7:49 of the first period, a power-play goal for the 19-year-old who was acquired earlier in the week from the Victoria Grizzlies in exchange for future considerations.
The Silverbacks went ahead 3-1 at 12:06 with Connor Sundquist’s fifth and on the power-play.
And tempers flared with just over three minutes remaining in the opening period, Hopkins fired the puck into Warriors territory just after the Silverbacks were called offside at the West Kelowna blue-line. Hopkins was then sent to the ice in Warriors territory where he stayed until he was helped to the bench. Ryley Booth and Scott Allan each dropped the gloves, as well as Spencer Hora and Mitchell were penalized along with Quinn Foreman and Nic Rutigliano. Hopkins gave the home team the power-play as he was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Julian Timba and Carson Bolduc each were injured in the opening period and did not return on Friday. Timba was sent flying after being knocked over at the side of the Silverbacks goal, and Bolduc was checked along the boards in his own zone.
Cameron Trott, Max Wutzke and Carter Cochrane sat out on Friday, all three defensemen with various injuries. Wutzke and Trott haven’t played since the Showcase in Chilliwack and Cochrane was injured in the second week of the regular season. Silverbacks 16-year-old AP defenseman Cody Schiavon of the Okanagan Rockets in the BCMML helped out on the back end, along with first season forward Akito Hirose.
The Silverbacks chased starting goalie Shane Farkas who allowed three goals on 10 shots in the opening frame and was relieved by Xavier Burghardt. The visitors lead 3-1 after 20 minutes.
Neither team found the back of the net in the middle frame, and the ‘Backs took a two goal lead into the third.
The Warriors got within one just 2:52 into the third, Chase Dubois deposited his second of the season. But Jake Heerspink restored the Silverbacks two goal lead with his first as a Silverback and first in the BCHL, Heerspink’s goal at 5:13 came on the power-play with Connor Sodergren penalized for tripping.
West Kelowna got back within one with 10:54 remaining and on the power-play, Sodergren’s fourth with Jared Turcotte off for slashing.
And Spencer Hora finished the scoring with his first BCHL goal and with 3:40 remaining in regulation.
The Silverbacks scored three of the five power-play goals in Friday’s game, and Brandon Kegler earned his first victory after returning to Salmon Arm last week from Alberta.
The ‘Backs and Warrior’s will meet again next weekend, a home-and-home set that will begin on Friday, October 14th at the Shaw Centre at 7pm before the division rivals will meet in West Kelowna on Saturday, October 15th at 7pm.
The Silverbacks and Surrey will meet for the second time in as many weeks, as the ‘Backs outscored the Eagles 8-6 on Sunday, September 25th at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.The ‘Backs held period leads of 2-1 and 7-3. Michael Botiz will make his return to Salmon Arm after being dealt to Surrey two weeks ago, the first season BCHL’er of Oakville, Ontario stopped 40 of 42 shots on Friday in Vernon.
The Eagles have scored 35 goals in nine games, the fifth highest total around the league and the Silverbacks have 27 goals in nine games and are tied for the third fewest. The ‘Backs have now allowed 43 goals which is the second highest total of goals against in the BCHL, Surrey has the sixth highest total with 37. The Silverbacks have 139 penalty minutes in nine games which is the fifth highest total in the league, and the Eagles have just 105 and the third fewest total overall.
Salmon Arm’s community radio station ‘The Voice of the Shuswap’ will be at the Shaw Centre on Saturday. CKVS is the play-by-play home of each Silverbacks road game and will broadcast Saturday night’s game live from the Shaw Centre.
Each Silverbacks game is webcast PPV at bchl.fasthockey.com Each road game is broadcast live via voiceoftheshuswap.ca CKVS 93.7FM.