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Game Preview: First Place Kings Come to Town

Salmon Arm, B.C. — Tonight is a battle between two undefeated teams, as the 5-0-0 Powell River Kings visit the Shaw Centre for a clash with the 3-0-0 Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

It’s the first of just two meeting between the clubs this season, as the only other head-to-head game will be Jan. 24 at Hab Parker Arena in Powell River.

The Kings enter with a league-high 29 goals for and a league-best +15 goal differential, while the Silverbacks’ 1.67 goals-against per-game is the best in the league amongst teams that have played at least three times.


3 Storylines

1) Can Flawless PK Continue?

Yes, it’s only been three games, but the Silverbacks penalty kill is a perfect 15-for-15 thus far this season. In the season opener, the kill went an impressive 8-for-8. Only two other teams are currently operating at 100 per cent: the Coquitlam Express (12-for-12) and Vernon Vipers (9-for-9).

The Kings red-hot power play could pose a challenge on Friday, as they’ve converted a league-high seven times while up a man through five games. Their 30.4% efficiency rate on the season is second-best (7-for-23), but they also didn’t score on the PP in their season opener, which means they’ve been above 35%  in their last four games.

The good news is the Kings actually have the league’s third-worst PK at just 68.8%. Plus, the Backs have scored one power play goal in each game so far this season. Can they make it four straight tonight?


2) Goaltending Could be the Difference

While the Kings have basically scored at will through their first two and a half weeks (5.8 goals for per game), they’re now running into a goalie who is very much on his game. Silverbacks’ netminder Ethan Langenegger is amongst the league leaders with a .952 SV% and 1.50 G.A.A. Granted, he has only had the opportunity to start twice, but he was (not surprisingly) rock solid in both.

It’s important to note Powell River has allowed nearly three goals against per game. Starter Matteo Paler-Chow was strong on Wednesday in a 5-2 win over Trail with 38 saves,  but before that he had only recorded a .900 or better SV% once in four starts. The 20-year-old was also pulled in the second game of the season against Alberni Valley after allowing three goals on 11 shots.


3) Shutting Down Glasman a Must

The Kings boast the league’s top scorer through five games in Levi Glasman, who has 11 points in five games. The two time 24-goal scorer is in his final BCHL season and was just named the league’s player of the week, after recording seven points last weekend in two games, including a five-point performance on Sunday in a lopsided win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

The Lacombe, Alta. native has impressively averaged over a point-per-game in his career, with 126 points in 116 games. He had one assist in Wednesday’s win over Trail.


Players to Watch


The second-year starter is likely to be busy on Friday, with the high-scoring Kings averaging nearly 40 shots on goal per game so far this season. He will also surely be up for the task, as this is a player who brings his A-game when it matters most, especially in the third period.


He only had one point on Wednesday (and it was late in the game), but Glasman is a threat to score whenever he is on the ice. While he won’t wow you with his speed, he’ll make you pay if you give him too much room in the offensive zone. The Backs’ big blue line will need to use their sticks properly on Friday if they are going to shut Glasman down.


Tune In

Both games this weekend will be aired on 91.5 EZ Rock, starting 30 minutes before puck drop, which means 6:30 on Friday but 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. They will also be streamed live on HockeyTV. Be sure to check out our YouTube page on Sunday for all your Silverbacks highlights.