The Salmon Arm Silverbacks (2-4) host the Merritt Centennials (3-2-1-0) on Friday night, September 30th at 7pm at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. The ‘Backs will begin the first of back-to-back action, as they will travel south of the border on Saturday and visit the Wenatchee Wild (4-0-0-1) at 7pm.
The Silverbacks have re-acquired goaltender Brandon Kegler. It was at this time last season that the team announced the signing of the 19-year-old who has played with the Leduc Oil Kings Midget AAA program and Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL. Kegler posted a 3.09 goals-against-average, and .910 save-percentage in 22 regular season games with the ‘Backs last season. The Silverbacks have moved 18-year-old goalie Mike Botiz of Oakville, Ont. to the Surrey Eagles for future considerations. Kegler joins 19-year-old first season Silverback net-minder Trevin Kozlowski of Valencia, CA.
The ‘Backs have scored 20 goals in six games and have allowed 26, while Merritt has 19 goals for and 19 goals against in six games.
Salmon Arm put together back-to-back victories last weekend at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, beginning with a 4-2 win over the Nanaimo Clippers (3-4). And the Silverbacks scored eight goals on Sunday and beat the Surrey Eagles (1-6) 8-6, leading 7-3 after 40 minutes on Sunday. The Silverbacks power-play scored four goals, while the penalty-kill allowed three versus the Eagles who outshot the ‘Backs 35-33.
The Centennials come into the Shuswap after a 5-1 win on the road on Tuesday over the West Kelowna Warriors (4-2). The Cents lost 7-2 to the Prince George Spruce Kings (1-5-1-0) last Thursday at the Showcase, and Merritt fell 4-2 to the Cowichan Valley Capitals (4-1-0-1) on Friday.
The Silverbacks scored six power-plays goals in total at the Showcase and allowed one short-handed marker. The power-play is ticking at just over 24-percent. The penalty-kill was six-for-10 last weekend and is running at 60-percent. Merritt’s power-play is at 27-percent, while the penalty-kill is at 81-percent.
Elijiah Barriga was credited with three goals at the Showcase and an honourable mention for BCHL Player of the Week. Connor Sundquist, Jared Turcotte and Mitch Skapski each scored twice. Ryley Booth, Josh Latta and Marcus Mitchell scored one goal each.
Josh Blanchard may or may not get back into the lineup this weekend, he has watched the past two weeks after an injury suffered in practice. Carter Cochrane is still recovering from an upper body injury. Cameron Trott and Spencer Hora also missed action last weekend with injuries.
The ‘Backs will play 12 games in total in October, their busiest month of the regular season schedule.
Each Silverbacks game is webcast PPV at bchl.fasthockey.com Each road game is broadcast live via voiceoftheshuswap.ca CKVS 93.7 FM and each home game is available audio only at