The Silverbacks begin the 2016-17 BCHL regular season tonight (Friday), as they host the Vernon Vipers at 7pm at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. The ‘Backs will then visit the Vipers tomorrow night (Saturday) at 6pm at Kal Tire Place in Vernon.
The Silverbacks and Vipers met once during this past pre-season, with the ‘Backs winning 1-0 at home last Friday, September 2nd. Ben Evanish scored the only goal of the game in the second period and Trevin Kozlowski made 26 saves for the shutout.
The ‘Backs finished the pre-season with 1 win, 2 losses and a tie. The Silverbacks began with a 5-5 tie on the road with the Merritt Centennials on August 24th, before falling 2-1 and 4-3 to the West Kelowna Warriors in a back-to-back home-and-home set which began on Friday, September 2nd at the Shaw Centre.
The Silverbacks have 23 players remaining from the 41 who began training camp 2 weeks ago. 13 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goaltenders, as well as 6 returning forwards and 2 returning defensemen. Carson Bolduc of Salmon Arm, Ryley Booth of nearby Armstrong, and Josh Blanchard of Kelowna, BC are 3 of the 6 20-year-old’s who are beginning their 3rd and final season with the Silverbacks as well as their final season of junior hockey.
4 of the 23 remaining are 19-years-old, while 10 are 18-years-old along with 3 who are 17-years-old.
Tonight (Friday) will also be the debut of Silverbacks assistant coach Darrell Hay who is working with head coach Brandon West who is into his third season as the head coach in Salmon Arm, and Brooks Christensen is into his second season as a Silverbacks assistant coach. The Silverbacks will play 3 of their first 4 regular season games at home, with back-to-back home games set for next weekend. The ‘Backs will host the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday, September 16th and at home to the Coquitlam Express on Saturday, September 17th. Each game next weekend is set for 7pm at the Shaw Centre.
Each Silverbacks home game Monday to Saturday this season will begin at 7pm, and the Silverbacks have 3 Sunday home games which will be 3pm face-offs.
The Merritt Centennials will make their first trip to Salmon Arm on Friday, September 30th at 7pm. The Silverbacks will host West Kelowna on October 14th at 7pm and the ‘Backs first meeting with the Penticton Vees won’t be until Friday, October 4th at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm at 7pm. The Trail Smoke Eaters first visit to the Shuswap won’t be until the final month of 2016 on Saturday, December 3rd at 7pm.
The ‘Backs will play 7 games in September with 3 at home, and 12 games in October which will be the busiest month of the regular season with 8 of the October games on the road.
Each Silverbacks game is available via Fast Hockey PPV bit.ly/1LWasN2, while each home game is available audio only/no charge at mixlr.com/sasilverbacks/ and each road game will be broadcast live audio only/no charge via the Voice of the Shuswap, Salmon Arm Community Radio 93.7FM bit.ly/1pkztYv