Salmon Arm, B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks (21-17-2) host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (21-15-2) on Friday night at the Shaw Centre.
This is the second and final head-to-head meeting this season. The previous meeting was on Dec. 7 in Port Alberni, where the Silverbacks comeback effort fell just short in what became a 5-3 final (with an empty-net goal).
Tonight’s game has a 7 p.m. puck drop.
Last Time Out
The Backs are coming off a 1-0 shutout loss to the Coquitlam Express last Sunday, where they outshot their opponent for the fifth straight game. They are 2-3 in those five games.
Goaltender Grant Adams made his debut and was terrific, making 26 saves on 27 shots.
Before Sunday, the Silverbacks were defeated 5-2 by the Penitcton Vees, thanks to 41 saves from Yaniv Perets.
A Closer Look
The Silverbacks were shut out for just the third time this season and second on home ice — the other one at the Shaw Centre came on Nov. 30 against the Vernon Vipers. They were also shut out Dec. 8 on the road against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
Despite 131 shots on goal the last three games, the Silverbacks have scored just four times. They had 17 goals the previous three games and went 2-1.
The Bulldogs enter after splitting a two-game homestand against the Powell River Kings. Alberni Valley won 3-1 on Saturday, after Friday’s game was rescheduled for Sunday. They ended up falling in Sunday’s game 6-5.
Before Sunday’s defeat, they had won four in a row and eight of their last 10.
The Bulldogs are 8-9-1 on the road this season. They rank fifth in the BCHL in goals for (137).
Notable Versus Alberni Valley
The Silverbacks found themselves behind the eight ball early on in the only previous meeting between these teams this season, a game that was a 5-3 loss.
It was on Dec. 7 at the ‘Dawg Pound’ and goaltender Brett Balas was pulled 12 minutes in after three quick goals were surrendered. The Silverbacks fought back hard, making it both a 3-2 and then a 4-3 game, but that was as close as they’d come, despite firing 42 shots on Jackson Glassford.
Noah Wakeford: 1 point from 100 career BCHL points.
Nick Unruh: 4 points from 100 career BCHL points.