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Game Preview: Backs Visit Defending Champion Spruce Kings

Salmon Arm, B.C. — Following their big 2-1 overtime win over the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday night, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (9-2-1) trek north to Prince George to take on the Spruce Kings (4-5-3) on Saturday night.

This is the first of two head-to-head meetings this season. The final meeting is Jan. 15 in Salmon Arm at the tail end of a six-game homestand. The Spruce Kings are coming off a 5-4 shootout loss to the Nanaimo Clippers on home ice on Friday.

Tonight’s game has the usual 7 p.m. puck drop.

 

3 Storylines

1) Score First

The Silverbacks got the game’s first goal on Friday and went on to win the game, continuing a pattern this season. When leading or tied after one period of play, Salmon Arm hasn’t lost in regulation yet this year (4-0 when leading, 5-0-1 when tied after 20). The Spruce Kings are winless when trailing after the opening frame.

2) Power Play

The Silverbacks PP scored on Friday, but it was with just two seconds to go in the man advantage. On the road this season, the Backs power play is just 13 %, while the Spruce Kings power play on home ice is 30.8% (12 of their 15 PPGs have come at home). Salmon Arm needs to find consistency when up a man to get their efficiency back up over 20% (currently at 19).

 

3) Langenegger In a Zone

Ethan Langenegger had ‘one of those games’ on Friday night, stopping 33 of 34 shots in a 2-1 overtime victory. He is now 7-1 on the season with a 2.25 GAA and .925 SV%. Both of those numbers are fifth-best in the BCHL for goalies that have played more than five games.

 

Players to Watch

SILVERBACKS: DOM GAROZZO

Garozzo made his BCHL debut on Friday after missing the first 10 games with an upper-body injury suffered in main camp, and right away, his explosive speed was evident. The line of (former teammate) Nick Martino and veteran Will Poirier was on the ice for Sansbury’s goal on Friday and was a threat to score almost every time they were on the ice.

 

SPRUCE KINGS: FINLAY WILLIAMS

Williams is on a tear as of late, with three goals and four assists during his current three-game point streak. The 16-year-old leads the BCHL in scoring among rookies with 15 points on the season. Already committed to the University of Michigan, the North Vancouver native also has five power play goals, currently tied for the overall league lead with teammate Corey Cunningham.

 

Upcoming Milestones

Akito Hirose: 4 assists from 75 career BCHL assists

William Porier: 2 points from 100 career junior points (including CHL)

 

Tune In

Tonight’s game will be back on radio on EZ Rock 91.5! It will also be streamed live on HockeyTV as always.