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Backs Open Season in Merritt

SALMON ARM, BC– After finishing their six-game preseason with a 3-3 record, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks will kick it off for real. Tonight they travel to Merritt to battle the Centennials to begin the BCHLs 60th season. These two teams have not faced each other since February 23rd, 2019, when the Backs defeated the Cents 3-2 at the Shaw Centre. That year the Silverbacks won the season series, winning four of six matchups. Last year the Silverbacks were in the Vernon Division for the pod season, skating to a 9-7-4 record. While the centennials were in the Chilliwack Division, finishing the season with a 3-17 record. 

Players to Watch: 

Simon Tassy: Last years’ leading goal scorer picked up right where he left off during the preseason. Tassy tallied seven points in four games, finding the back of the net five times, including a hat trick against the Penticton Vees. Tassy scored 16 goals in last years’ condensed 20 game schedule and will be a massive part of the Silverback’s offensive attack in his final season. In six games against Merritt in 2019-20, Tassy recorded a pair of assists.

Owen Say: This will be Say’s second and final campaign in Purple and white, last year, he posted a 7-6-1 record with a .907 SV% and a 2.82 GAA. The 20-year-old will be heavily relied on to hold down the fort in between the pipes for the Backs’.

Nathan Morin: Had a strong audition in his first BCHL preseason. He finished with three goals and four assists and played every preseason game. He has gotten a look on the top two lines throughout the preseason.

Head to Head: 

The Silverbacks won the head-to-head matchup when these two teams played in 2019-20, taking 4/6. But over the last five years, the Silverbacks have had a very tough time picking up wins in Merritt. Although the Backs only have one win to show for in Merritt with a 1-7-1 record over that span, they will look to turn that around tonight.

A Look At The Opposition:

The Merritt Centennials, a team that is looking to bounce back after an ugly pod season that saw them only win three games out of the twenty. Merritt returned nine players from last season’s brief pod season. They kicked their season off last night and were thumped 8-1 at the hands of the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings. Prince George outshot Merritt 40-17 and went 3/5 on the powerplay. The Centennials opened the scoring on Walker Erickson’s first of the campaign, but the Spruce Kings scored eight unanswered.