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Preview: Silverbacks Have Rare Meeting with Rivermen

Salmon Arm, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks (26-20-4) travel to Langley on Tuesday to face off against the Rivermen (21-24-4), in search of their fourth straight win.

This is the second and final head-to-head meeting this season. Langley won the previous meeting, back on Nov. 29 by a 4-2 score.

The Backs enter action one point ahead of the Vernon Vipers for third place in the Interior Division and four points ahead of Wenatchee, who currently sit in fifth.

Tonight’s game has a 7:15 p.m. puck drop.

Last Time Out

The Backs are coming off back-to-back wins over the Merritt Centennials, most recently by a 5-3 score on Saturday.

Luke Mylymok led the way on Saturday with two goals, while Logan Shaw, Will Poirier and Lucas Breault also tallied singles.

Ethan Langenegger stood tall in goal with 34 saves, picking up win number 20 this season.

The power play also remained hot, delivering two goals.

A Closer Look

The Silverbacks have now scored 25 goals in their last six games. Their power play is 7-for-20 in the last five (35%).

Captain Akito Hirose just passed older brother Taro for eighth on the Silverbacks all-time franchise scoring list. Taro played for the Backs from 2014-16, recording 121 points, while Akito now has 122.

The Backs are 9-11-4 on the road this season.

Leading Scorers

Akito Hirose (9-41-50)
Noah Wakeford (17-30-47)
Daniel Rybarik (27-16-43)
Nick Unruh (11-24-35)
William Poirier (17-17-34)

The Opposition

The Rivermen are coming off a 3-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs on Sunday afternoon. Before that, they were shut out twice in a row, first by Powell River 3-0 on Jan. 26 and then by Coquitlam 5-0 on Jan. 31.

Langley has scored just 14 goals in their last eight games (1.75 per game), during which they’ve gone 2-5-1. They are the most penalized team in the BCHL, having been shorthanded an average of 5.78 times per game. The Silverbacks are shorthanded an average of 4.66 times per game, the fourth-highest in the league. Both Langley and Salmon Arm have allowed eight shorthanded goals against this season, tied for the most in the BCHL.

The Rivermen are 12-11-2 on home ice this season and 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.

Leading Scorers

Brendan Budy (18-30-48)
Jake Livingstone (9-33-42)
Tristan Fraser (13-19-32)
Joseph Mus (11-20-31)
Kalen Szeto (10-20-30)

Notable Versus Langley

The only time the Silverbacks played Langley this season was a 4-2 defeat on Nov. 29. The game was 3-2 before the Rivermen added an empty-net goal to make it a 4-2 final. The Silverbacks were out-shot 33-27 in the game.

Luke Mylymok and Noah Wakeford had the goals in for the Backs in that game, while Nick Unruh assisted on both goals. All the goals except for one were scored in the third period. Salmon Arm’s power play went 0-for-5 in that game.

Over the last five years, the Silverbacks have only played Langley on the road five times, going 2-3.

Upcoming Milestones

Noah Wakeford: 2 assists from 75 career BCHL assists.

Nick Unruh: 4 goals from 50 career BCHL goals.

Tune In

Pre-game coverage on EZ Rock starts at 6:45 p.m. with puck drop scheduled for 7:15 p.m. The game will also be streamed live on HockeyTV.