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Backs Wrap up Homestand Vs. Spruce Kings

Salmon Arm, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks (22-18-2) host the Prince George Spruce Kings (14-23-5) on Wednesday night at the Shaw Centre, finishing up a six-game homestand.

This is the second and final head-to-head meeting this season. The Silverbacks won the first contest between the two in Prince George on Oct. 12 by a 1-0 score.

Tonight’s game has a 7 p.m. puck drop.

Last Time Out

The Backs are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Vernon Vipers on Sunday afternoon.

Drew Bennett was the two-goal man in this one, helping the Backs get out to a 2-0 lead just one day after his 20th birthday.

Unfortunately, the Viper struck three times in the second period to take a lead into the third, where they held off the Backs for a 5-3 victory. Daniel Rybarik — who announced on Monday his NCAA commitment to Alaska-Anchorage — made it a 4-3 game at the 7:07 mark of the period, but that was as close as the Backs would get.

Noah Wakeford hit a milestone with his 100th career point.

A Closer Look

After averaging 42.7 shots on goal per game over a six-game stretch heading into Sunday, the Silverbacks only managed 22 shots on Reilly Herbst on Sunday. They also lost the special teams battle, surrendering a shorthanded goal and a power play goal.

Bennett now has three goals in three contests against the Vipers this year. After four points in his first 19 career BCHL games, Bennett now has 15 points (6G, 9A) in his last 21 games.

Rybarik’s 23rd goal of the season also gives him seven goals in his last seven games. Only two players in the BCHL have more goals than him this season.

Even after captaining Team West to a 6-4 victory at the CJHL Prospects game in Hamilton, ON on Tuesday night, Backs forward Luke Mylymok is expected to be in the lineup. Thanks to a late 2001 birthday, Mylymok is NHL draft eligible this June.

The Silverbacks are 15-9 on home ice this season, but 2-6 in their last eight home games.

The Opposition

The Spruce Kings have had a tough go as of late, not only because they lost back-to-back games to the Surrey Eagles on home ice last weekend, but also going through a six-game losing streak from Dec. 1-18. They are 3-8 in their last 11 games and currently sit last in the Mainland Division, nine games below .500.

The club is led up front by forward Nick Poission, who has 35 points (15G, 20A) in 37 games. He also suited up for Team West at the CJHL Prospects game. Corey Cunningham and Nolan Welsh are tied for second on the club in scoring with 32 points each. Sixteen-year-old Finn Williams has 21 points in 24 games, but no goals in his last 12 games.

Thirty-three percent of the Spruce Kings goals this season (37 of 113) have come on the power play, the second highest in the league, but their power play is only operating at 13.5% on the road, compared to 22.7% on home ice.

Prince George is 8-10-1 on the road this season.

Notable Versus Prince George

The Backs and Spruce Kings have met just once this season, on Oct. 12 in Prince George, when Ethan Langenegger got the shutout with a 20-save performance. Hunter Sansbury had the lone goal.

Last season, the teams split the two-game season series.

Upcoming Milestones

Nick Unruh: 4 points from 100 career BCHL points.

Akito Hirose: 5 assists from 100 career BCHL assists.

Tune In

Pre-game coverage on EZ Rock starts at 6:30 p.m. with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will also be streamed live on HockeyTV.