The Silverbacks (16-21-1-2) will visit the Vernon Vipers (22-13-2-3) tonight (Friday) at 7pm. Salmon Arm will host the Langley Rivermen (17-15-2-5) tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7pm at the Shaw Centre.
This will be the final game of the seven game regular season series, and the Vipers have won five of the first six meetings. The Silverbacks fell 1-0 at home home to the Vipers on Friday, December 30th of 2016, one night after dropping a 4-2 decision in Vernon on Thursday, December 29th. Vernon has outscored Salmon Arm 27-15, including a 4-4 tie back on December 9th at the Shaw Centre.
The Silverbacks made a number of changes on Tuesday, the deadline for trades and signings in the BCHL. 20-year-old captain Mitch Skapski, along with 19-year-old Haydn Hopkins are now with the Cowichan Valley Capitals (20-17-2-2). And, 18-year-old forwards Ryan Hogg and Trevor Arye have joined the Silverbacks. Ayre of Surrey, BC has four goals and seven points with 12 penalty-minutes in 20 games this season. Hogg of Duncan, BC has five goals, 21 points and 19 penalty minutes in 41 games. Skapski of Abbotsford, BC is now reunited with his younger brother Marshall, the 18-year-old was acquired by the Capitals from the Merritt Centennials (14-17-2-7) in December. The former Salmon Arm captain Mitch has 14 goals and 36 points with 40 penalty-minutes in 38 games.
Hopkins of Victoria, BC has joined his eighth team in his junior career and has 15 points with four goals and 20 penalty-minutes in 25 games this season. The Silverbacks will receive two more players from the Capitals in future considerations. 20-year-old’s Josh Blanchard and Carter Cochrane have also moved on, each in exchange for future considerations. Blanchard has joined the Nanaimo Clippers (15-21-1-5), while Cochrane of Kamloops, BC is now with the Trail Smoke Eaters (19-18-0-4).
Cochrane will finish his junior career with his tenth team, he has nine goals and 16 points in 25 games with 28 penalty-minutes. Blanchard of Kelowna, BC has eight goals and 20 points in 33 games with 11 penalty-minutes. The Silverbacks will receive three players from the Clippers in future considerations. Austin Chorney has now played three games with the Silverbacks. The 16-year-old defenseman of Abbotsford, BC was acquired recently from the Chilliwack Chiefs in exchange for futures. Vernon did not make any changes earlier this week.
Salmon Arm’s Carson Bolduc will captain the team for the remainder of this season while Ryley Booth, Elijiah Barriga and Connor Sundquist are now assistant captains.
Marcus Mitchell will sit out this weekend, serving games two and three of his four game suspension after making head contact with the Smoke Eaters Mitchell Stapley on Friday. Bolduc and Sundquist are each out with injuries. Grayson Constable got back into the lineup last weekend, after missing 13 games due to injury.
The Silverbacks began the new year with a back-to-back, home-and-home set with the Trail Smoke Eaters (19-18-0-4) last weekend. The Silverbacks won 6-3 in Trail last Friday, before falling 5-2 at home to the Smoke Eaters on Saturday. The Vipers will begin a five game home stand having won their last five games overall and are unbeaten in nine. Vernon won 5-3 on the road on Wednesday at the Prince George Spruce Kings (19-17-2-2).
Each Silverbacks game is webcast PPV at hockeytv.com Each road game is broadcast live via voiceoftheshuswap.caCKVS 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.
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