Coming off a weekend split with the West Kelowna Warriors, the Silverbacks will look to make it two in a row against their Southern rivals.
In West Kelowna the Warriors skated to a 5-3 win, and the Silverbacks returned the favour Saturday night in a dominant 4-1 win. Salmon Arm went six for six on the penalty kill (while scoring a shorthanded goal) and held the visitors to just 23 shots.
Brock Baier made his BCHL debut for West Kelowna stopping 28 of 32 shots. Ethan Langenegger stopped 22 of the shots he faced. The only goal he allowed was a shot from Wyatt Head who was alone in the right circle off a cross ice feed.
Tyson Gayfer scored twice for Salmon Arm and is tied for the team lead in goals against West Kelowna with Noah Wakeford who scored once in each game over the weekend. Named the first star of the game, Gayfer scored shorthanded to tie the game at one in the first, and scored the eventual winner in the second period. The line of Matthew Verboon, Justin Wilson, and Noah Wakeford remains hot with Wilson and Verboon getting points in each of the last three games, and Wakeford scoring in the last two.
Justin Wilson leads the Silverbacks in scoring this season with 12 points in eight games. He’s been a powerhouse since the start of the BCHL Bauer Showcase scoring 10 points in the five game stretch. His two power play goals this season have already matched his former career high.
Against West Kelowna in two games this season, Salmon Arm has excelled in the special teams battle. They were 2 for 4 on the power play in West Kelowna and held the Warriors to one goal on six chances. Saturday night the power play didn’t score on three chances, but also held the visitors off the board on six opportunities. Coming out of the weekend, the power plays are neck and neck as Salmon Arm has the 2nd best power play at 26.7% while the Warriors are right behind at 26.2%. The PK is where things differ Salmon Arm is at 82.9% which has them in the middle of the pack while the Warriors are a league worst 69%.
Players to Watch:
Silverbacks: Akito Hirose started the season with three points in his first two games, and offensively has cooled off with two points in the last six games. He has been a key member of the defence corps playing big minutes against top players. On the power play he has also helped the unit to third in the entire BCHL.
Warriors: Currently on a five game point streak. Max Bulawka has been held without a point just once in his nine games this season. In the other eight games he has combined for 10 points and had three assists against the Silverbacks last weekend. He went into the home and home series riding a three game scoring streak, but was unable to find the back of the net himself against Salmon Arm.
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