Forget, or remember and move on. Those are the options for Salmon Arm as they take on the Wenatchee Wild Friday night in the Shaw Centre. Two weeks ago the Wild came to town, and beat the Silverbacks 7-1. Things were close heading to the third with a 2-1 Wild lead, but five goals in the third gave the visitors a dominant final in their first meeting with the Backs.
Both teams played on Wednesday with Salmon Arm falling 4-3 on home ice. For the second year in a row, a midweek game against the Rivermen went to overtime. After Nick Unruh scored the winner last year to give the home side the W, this time it was the visitors celebrating with 17 year old Ethan Leyh scoring his second goal of the game. It was an impressive return for Justin Wilson who had missed nearly two months with an upper body injury. He was in on every goal for Salmon Arm scoring twice, and earning the secondary assist on Matthew Verboon’s goal in the first period.
Wenatchee was at home themselves Wednesday defeating the Penticton Vees 4-2. Four different players scored for Wenatchee and the only multi-point player was Matt Dorsey who had two assists. The Wild are one of the hottest teams in the BCHL right now having won four games in row and eight of their last nine. The good news for Backs fans is the Wild haven’t won more than four games in a row this season so Salmon Arm will look to prevent Wenatchee winning their fifth straight.
This is the last game of Movember for the Silverbacks which sees each goal they score earn $62 towards the Movember Foundation. The team and Great Canadian Oil Change are donating $5 per goal while Canadian Tire in donating $50 per goal. The current donation total is $575 before pledges of the goals (the team has 21 goals so far this month).
Score First – Salmon Arm in 27 games this season has only scored the first goal five times, and they are 4-0-1 when they do so. The Wild in 29 games have scored first 13 times and are 9-3-1.
Secondary Scoring – Salmon Arm hasn’t had a forward outside the top six scoring forwards score in the last five games. Justin Wilson is a great addition to the team, but he needs help.
Aggressive on Forwards: Wenatchee has just three forwards over 185 lbs on their side. It’s a task easier said than done, but if Salmon Arm can make life tough on the forwards it may limit their chances. Side note, do it in the defensive zone. A number of plays by defense at the Wild blueline in the last game led to to odd man rushes for Wenatchee which is how they started piling up the goals.
Players to Watch:
Silverbacks: Despite missing nearly two months with injury, the three points for Justin Wilson Wednesday night put him in a tie for seventh in team scoring with Olson Werenka. He is now just two points back of Unruh and Akito Hirose who are tied for fifth in scoring for the Silverbacks. While it was great to see the Wilson line clicking Wednesday, the Silverbacks needs secondary scoring especially against a tough team like the Wenatchee Wild. One player to keep an eye out for is Jonathan Krahn who has scored some important goals this season. He leads the 2001 born players in scoring with six points this season.
Wild: He had two goals and two assists against Salmon Arm which was the second time Josh Arnold accomplished that feat in the span of a week. Barring scoring changes, he had a ten game point streak snapped on Wednesday night in his team’s 4-2 win over Penticton.
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