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Silverbacks Open Up New Year in Vernon

SALMON ARM, BC: The Salmon Arm Silverbacks will look to continue their winning ways in 2022! This afternoon they open up the New Year against their rivals, the Vernon Vipers. This is the 6th meeting already this season between the pair of teams. The Silverbacks have got the best of the Vipers this season, winning four of the first five matchups, outscoring the Vipers 21-14 in the process. This weekend was supposed to be the last two games these teams play against each other for the rest of the way, but with the BCHL schedule changes, two more games got added to the docket. The Silverbacks are coming off defeating the Merritt Centennials 4-2 on the road Wednesday night. Special teams have been on a roll as of late for the Silverbacks. The powerplay is clicking at near 32%. It gets even better on the road, clicking at an absurd 36%. In comparison, their penalty kill sits second in the BCHL 86.5%, and the Silverbacks have been dangerous shorthanded as well, leading the BCHL with seven shorthanded goals. Simon Tassy is responsible for five of those.

Players to Watch:
Brandon Santa Juana: Has enjoyed some nice success against the vipers this season, scoring in three of the first five matchups and tallying two assists. He plays a prominent role on the first unit powerplay with Tassy, Serdachny, Panetta, and Ladyman.

Noah Serdachny: He, too, has had tons of success against the Vipers this season. Serdachny has found the back of the net three times against Vernon, tallying six assists. He also scored the OT winner against them back on Nov 3 at home to cap off a 5-4 comeback victory.

Nathan Mackie: He scored his first BCHL goal against Vernon in the last meeting, which started a five-game point streak from Nov 24 through Dec 3.  

A Look At The Opposition:
The Vernon Vipers sit 8th in the Interior Division with a 7-12-6 record. They have lost four of their last five games but are coming off a 1-2 win over the Prince George Spruce Kings before the Christmas break. This is their first game of the second half. The Vipers have done a good job of managing their losses, picking up six points for losing in extra time—three in overtime and three more in a shootout. Luke Buss leads the Vipers with 20 points in 24 games. Cam MacDonald is producing at over a point per game and has been the most consistent scorer for the Vipers this season; MacDonald missed nine games at the beginning of the year due to injury. Roan Clarke has been the man in the pipes for 17 of the teams’ 25 games this season and holds a 4-9-4 record with a 3.32 GAA and a .893 SV%. Clarke has lost three of his last four starts.