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Game 19 Preview: Backs & Vipers


Salmon Arm, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks (9-6-3) take on the Vernon Vipers (11-5-2) for the 10th and final time this pod season on Friday night, in a must-win game. The Backs trail the Vipers in the standings by three points. Both teams have two games remaining in the season.

The Backs thumped Vernon 6-2 in the last H2H on May 1, but are coming off a 5-4 loss to West Kelowna in their most recent game on Wednesday. The Vipers haven’t played since a 2-1 win over the Warriors on Monday.

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

Season H2H

Date Score Record Goalie
April 2 4-1 L 0-1-0 Say 22/26
April 7 6-5 OTL 0-1-1 Vanderkooi 27/33
April 10 2-1 OTW 1-1-1 Say 32/33
April 14 6-5 OTL 1-1-2 Say 18/24
April 17 3-2 SOL 1-1-3 Say 29/31
April 20 5-2 L 1-2-3 Say 18/22
April 24 7-5 L 1-3-3 Vanderkooi 29/35
April 28 3-1 W 2-3-3 Say 35/36
May 1 6-2 W 3-3-3 Say 26/28


Bring the Physicality: This was a key to Saturday’s big win over Vernon. Salmon Arm was able to dictate the play because they used their bodies to engage physically and create space for themselves.

“It’s a physical sport, it’s a contact sport and we’re not going to shy away from it. We want to play with that edge, that tenacity,” Silverbacks assistant coach Carter Cochrane said after Wednesday’s loss. “It wasn’t on display today, but it’s definitely going to be back there on Friday.”

Quick Start is Massive: The Backs set the tone in last Saturday’s win with their physicality, but it’s important to note they also did it right off the hop. Salmon Arm had 12 scoring chances in the first period alone in that game and had a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Good Defence Will Lead to Offence: We’ve said it about a thousand times, but we’ll say it again: the Vipers are opportunistic. The Backs allowed too many quality chances against the Warriors on Wednesday, which can’t be repeated on Friday if they hope to find any success.


A Single Point Would Clinch 1st for Vipers: With just two games remaining and the Vipers currently ahead by three points, any sort of victory would obviously clinch first place for them. But the tough part is that the Vipers hold the tiebreaker on head-to-head wins, as they’ve already won six of nine meetings between the clubs. This means if the game goes to overtime, Vernon will automatically clinch first.

Could Backs See Clarke?: The Vipers have started veteran James Porter Jr. in goal the last two games against the Backs and Salmon has won both, 3-1 and then 6-2. The previous three H2H games were Vernon wins, with rookie Roan Clarke starting all three.

Clarke’s hasn’t played in a week, as his last start was a 3-2 win over West Kelowna on April 30 when he stopped 15 of 17 shots.

This & That

  • Backs forward Simon Tassy leads the BCHL in goals with 16 & ranks 7th in points with 25. He is currently on a four-game goal streak (5G) & has 12 goals in his last nine games.
  • Backs forward Noah Serdachny is 2nd in the BCHL in assists with 18 & is 8th in points with 24. Amongst rookies, his 18 assists rank 1st and his 24 points rank 3rd.
  • Backs forward Sullivan Mack is tied for 8th in the BCHL in points with 24. He has eight multi-point games this season.
  • The Silverbacks are the only team in the BCHL to have 3 players each with 24 or more points
  • Backs defenceman Hunter Sansbury has 11 points in his last 12 games (2G, 9A). He is logging an average of 28 minutes of ice time per game. He has 13 points on the season, with just four coming on the power play, putting him inside the top-10 in league scoring amongst defencemen for even-strength points (9).
  • Backs defenceman Tucker Hartmann has 10 points in his last 12 games (3G, 7A). He also has 9 even-strength points.
  • Backs forward Cameron Recchi has nine points in his last nine games (4G, 5A).
  • Seven different Vipers have scored 5 or more goals this season; only Surrey and Victoria have more 5+ goal scorers. However, no Viper has more than seven goals.
  • After six of the Backs first 10 games needed overtime or a shootout to determine the winner, they haven’t gone past 60 minutes in their last eight games

Leading Scorers


Points – Simon Tassy (25)
Goals – Simon Tassy (16)
Assists – Noah Serdachny (18)

Wins – Owen Say (7)
G.A.A – Owen Say (2.89)
SV% – Owen Say (.905)


Points – Ryan Shostak (16)
Goals – Tyler Carpendale (7)
Assists – Ryan Shostak (12)

Wins – James Porter Jr. (6)
G.A.A. – James Porter Jr. (2.16)
SV% – James Porter Jr. (.925)

Special Teams


PP – 22.6% (7th) / PK – 69.2% (15th)


PP – 24% (3rd) / PK – 80.3% (8th)

Players to Watch


Shaw had a goal and an assist on Wednesday, his first points of the season. He has found success skating on Drew Bennett’s right wing, with Cameron Recchi on the left flank. The three-year Silverback veteran has showed up in big moments in the past, scoring two big playoff goals last spring in games three and four of the team’s opening round playoff series with Victoria.



Kent has been quickly piling up the points as of late from the backend. He has eight points (1G, 7A) in his last six games and is now up to 14 points on the season, the most out of any defenceman in the Vernon pod.

Tune In

As always, all games will be streamed live on BCHL TV, with the Braby Motors pre-game show getting underway at 6:45 p.m. PDT.