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Backs travel to Trail tonight

The Silverbacks (20-8-2-2) are into the final weekend of action ahead of the BCHL’s holiday break. The ‘Backs will be on the road tonight to take on the Trail Smoke Eaters (16-18-0-0) at 7:30p.m. The Smokies won 6-3 on Wednesday at home over the Vernon Vipers (15-19-0-3). Trail is now 8-7-0-0 in 15 games at the Cominco Arena.

The ‘Backs earned 3 of a possible 4 points last weekend in back-to-back games with the league leading Penticton Vees (30-3-1-0). The Silverbacks beat the Vees 5-2 one week ago today at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm, and fell 4-3 in double overtime last Saturday in Penticton after trailing 3-0. The Silverbacks now have two wins and a double overtime loss, for five of six points in their first three meetings with the Vees. The Silverbacks have yet to win in overtime this season, at 0-2-2.

The Silverbacks have won the first two games of the season series with the Smoke Eaters, 6-3 in Trail on Saturday, October 16th along with a 5-2 victory at home over the Smoke Eaters on Saturday, October 3rd.

The ‘Backs are now 10-4-0-1 on the road, after a 5-2 win over the Vipers in Vernon on Wednesday, December 9th.

The Silverbacks signed 20-year-old defenseman Ayrton Nikkel of Kelowna earlier this week. Ayrton’s rights were acquired last week from the Coquitlam Express (14-15-1-4). Ayrton is set to make his Silverbacks debut tonight in Trail after playing with four different Western Hockey League teams over five seasons.

Forward Elijiah Barriga was chosen as the BCHL Player of the Week last week. The first season Silverback of West Covina, California scored four goals and two assists after tallying twice, including the game-winner, and adding an assist in the win in Vernon. The 19-year-old had a goal and an assist last Friday versus the Vees, and wrapped his week by scoring the goal to force overtime and earn a point in Penticton. Half of Barriga’s eight goals on the season were scored last week.

The Silverbacks have completed a stretch of five games in eight days and still sit second in the Interior Division, with 44 points and 15 back of the first place Vees. The Silverbacks are four points ahead of the West Kelowna Warriors (19-13-0-2), and the ‘Backs have two games in hand. The Vipers sit fourth and seven behind the Warriors and just one point ahead of the Smoke Eaters who have three games in hand.

The ‘Backs final game before the holiday break goes tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7p.m. versus the Powell River Kings (18-12-0-1) at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.

The Silverbacks will then have 12 days before beginning the new year at home to the Surrey Eagles (5-27-1-0) on Friday, January 1st at 7p.m. The ‘Backs visit the Vees again on Saturday, January 2nd at 6p.m.

Each Silverbacks and BCHL game is webcast live, PPV http://bchl.fasthockey.comas well as each ‘Backs road game is broadcast live at CKVS 93.7 FM http://voiceoftheshuswap.ca Each home game is broadcast at http://bit.ly/1s0deO7 Tune into CKVS each Monday night throughout the season beginning at 7p.m. for 30 minutes or more of Silverbacks talk, including interviews and news from around the BCHL.

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