The Silverbacks (18-6-2-1) will begin the final month of 2015 tied for second overall in the BCHL and second in the Interior, now five points ahead of the West Kelowna Warriors (16-10-0-2) with a game in hand on the Warriors. The ‘Backs are 13 back of the first place overall Penticton Vees (26-2-0-0).
The Silverbacks finished November’s schedule with back-to-back victories this past weekend over their division rivals the Vernon Vipers (13-15-0-2). The ‘Backs won 5-1 at home on Friday and 4-3 in Vernon on Saturday, November 28th.
Josh Blanchard tipped in his ninth of the season as the Silverbacks opened the scoring at 5:06 of the opening period and took a one-nothing lead into the second. The visitors outshot the home team 21-12 in the first frame.
Kodi Schwarz increased the lead to two-nothing with his second of the season just past the midway mark of the middle frame. But with Josh Laframboise penalized for hooking, the Vipers got on the board and within one on the power-play, 2-1 ‘Backs with Odeen Tufto’s 11th at 14:17. The Vipers then got into penalty trouble, as Hunter Zandee was called for cross-checking and Colton McCarthy for slashing just nine seconds apart to give the Silverbacks a 5-on-3 man-advantage. And Chase Zieky gave the ‘Backs a 3-1 lead with his 12th at 15:46, a 5-on-3 power-play goal. The Vipers took a bench minor penalty at 16:54 and gave the Silverbacks their second consecutive 5-on-3 power play. Damian Chrcek scored his third of the season at 16:48 as the Silverbacks lead 4-1 after 40 minutes. Vernon lead 16-11 on the shot clock in the middle period.
The ‘Backs began the final period with back-to-back penalties, Mitch Newsome for boarding at 3:22 and Ryley Booth for cross-checking at 4:28 gave the Vipers a 5-on-3 power-play. And Callum Volpe got Vipers back within two, 4-2 with a power-play goal 5-on-4 at 4:50. Vernon then gave the Silverbacks two more 5-on-3 opportunities, as Charley Michalowski was called for interference at 8:33 and McCarthy for slashing again at 8:56. Elijiah Barriga of the ‘Backs and Riley Brandy of the Vipers each were called for roughing after the whistle also at 8:56, and Vipers Head Coach and General Manager Mark Ferner was ejected from the game with a game misconduct.
The Vipers gave the Silverbacks another 5-on-3 man-advantage, their fourth of the game with James off for holding at 13:53 and Mitchell Oliver for slashing at 15:13. But the ‘Backs were not able to capitalize on their eighth and ninth power-plays, and Chrcek was called for slashing with 1:54 remaining. Tufto scored his second of the game and 11th of the season at 19:44 and the Vipers scored all three of their goals on the power-play.
Each team had 14 shots in the third and the Silverbacks outshot Vernon 46-42 total. Angus Redmond made 39 saves for his 14th win of the season. The Silverbacks finished 2-for-9 on the power-play and 5-for-8 on the penalty-kill.
The Silverbacks now lead the season series 3-0 after a 6-2 win in Vernon on Wednesday, October 28th. The ‘Backs will be back in Vernon on Wednesday, December 9th at 7p.m.
The ‘Backs finished November’s schedule with seven wins and two regulation losses, and are 11-2-0-1 versus the Interior Division. The Silverbacks are also 7-2 on Saturday nights this season.
The Silverbacks will begin December with back-to-back home games at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm, Saturday the 5th at 7p.m. with the Langley Rivermen (17-12-0-0) and on Sunday afternoon the 6th at 3p.m. versus the Cowichan Valley Capitals (14-10-1-3). The Silverbacks will play seven games in the final month of 2015, finishing at home to the Powell River Kings (16-10-0-1) at 7p.m. on Saturday, December 19th. The ‘Backs will begin 2016 at home to the Surrey Eagles (5-22-0-0) on Friday, January 1st at 7p.m. at the Shaw Centre, the first of 12 games in January.
Each Silverbacks and BCHL game is webcast live, PPV http://bchl.fasthockey.com as well as each ‘Backs road game is broadcast live at CKVS 93.7 FM http://voiceoftheshuswap.ca Each home game is broadcast at http://bit.ly/1s0deO7 Tune into CKVS each Monday night throughout the season beginning at 7p.m. for 30 minutes or more of Silverbacks talk, including interviews and news from around the BCHL.