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Backs travel to Merritt for make up game 7 PM

The Silverbacks (23-26-1-3) will visit the Merritt Centennials (22-26-2-4) tonight (Thursday) at 7pm, less than 24 hours after Salmon Arm was beaten 8-1 at home by the Penticton Vees (38-12-3-2) last night.

Penticton opened the scoring at 8:30 of the first period, 1-0. Brandon Whistle gave the Vees their first power-play with a slashing penalty at 14:27. The Vees went ahead 2-0 at 15:29 on the man-advantage. Tanner Campbell was called for holding the stick at 17:24. Penticton took a 3-0 lead at 18:07 and on the power-play. The Vees outshot the Silverbacks 14-6 in the first period.

Salmon Arm received it’s first power-play of the game at 3:35 of the middle frame. Penticton increased it’s lead to 4-0 at 5:51. And the Vees went ahead 5-0 at 6:24. Kyle Dumba was then relieved by Reid Cooper, Dumba stopped 14 of 19 shots. The Silverbacks were called for too many men on the ice at 8:39. Penticton gave the home team it’s second and final power-play of the game at 8:50 of the second. The Vees took a 6-0 lead at 10:38 and 4-on-4. Rhett Kingston scored Salmon Arm’s only goal of the game, Kingston’s 24th of the season at 17:29. Penticton finished the scoring in the second at 18:54, 7-1. Salmon Arm outshot the Vees 14-11 in the second, 25-20 Penticton overall.

Riley Hayles took the first penalty of the final period just 53 seconds into the third and for cross-checking. Demetri Kambeitz was called slashing at the 4 minute mark. The Vees took starting goalie Adam Scheel out of the game at 10:04 of the third, Scheel stopped 20 of 21 shots and was relieved by Nolan Hildebrand. Nick Unruh was given a 10 minute misconduct at 11:05. Kingston was penalized for slashing at 11:38. Penticton scored it’s final goal of the game at 13:31 and the Vees third power-play goal of the night, 8-1. Whistle took a 10 minute misconduct at 13:31 after the goal. Sol Seibel received the final penalty of the night at 17:41, a five minute major for head contact and a game misconduct after he roughed up former Silverback Marcus Mitchell along the boards in Silverbacks territory.

Penticton outshot Salmon Arm 11-2 in third and 36-22 Vees total. Cooper allowed three goals on 17 shots in relief.

The Silverbacks finished 0-for-2 on the power-play on Wednesday and 5-for-8 on the penalty-kill.

The Silverbacks are now 2-4-0-0 in February, while the Centennials have a record of 5-3-1-0 in the final month of the regular season. Merritt leads the season series three games to two and the Cents won the last meeting 4-2 on Saturday, January 6th in the Nicola Valley. The Silverbacks are 9-15-1-2 on the road, while the Centennials are 13-10-1-2 on home ice. Salmon Arm is 9-20-0-2 versus the Interior and Merritt is 13-19-0-2 within the division.

The Cents won 7-4 at home over the Trail Smoke Eaters (31-20-1-4) on Tuesday night of this week, Merritt has earned nine of a possible ten points in it’s last five games. The Silverbacks sit last in the Interior, two points behind the Centennials but Salmon Arm has two games in hand.

Grayson Constable watched Wednesday’s game after he suffered an injury in the second period of last Friday’s game at home to the Victoria Grizzlies (30-18-4-4). Max Wutzke returned to his home yesterday (Wednesday). The 19-year-old defenseman from Calgary, AB spent three weeks recovering in hospital in the lower mainland following multiple surgeries on his left leg. Wutzke was hit into the boards early in the first period of the Silverbacks 5-2 victory at the Coquitlam Express (15-38-3-1) on Wednesday, February 7th.

Salmon Arm will begin the playoffs on the road. The Best-of-7 series is set to start on Friday and Saturday, March 3rd and 4th. The Silverbacks will host games three and four on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 6th and 7th at the Shaw Centre with each of the first four games beginning at 7pm.Tickets are on sale now for the 1st two home playoff games.

Regular season home game tickets are $14, (Srs $12, Under 12 – $7). A $25 family pack includes includes 2 Adults and 2 Children’s tickets, along with 4 complimentary Silverbacks hats.

Each game is webcast PPV at hockeytv.com Road games are broadcast via voiceoftheshuswap.ca CKVS 93.7 FM and Home games are available, audio only at mixlr.com/salmon-arm-silverbacks