The Silverbacks and West Kelowna Warriors meet for the third game of the season series tonight at 7p.m. at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna. Tonight is the first game of another home-and-home set between the two which will conclude tomorrow night at 7p.m. at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.
The Silverbacks are coming off of a 5-2 victory over the Centennials in Merritt on Saturday, November 29th and the ‘Backs are now 9-11-2-5 with 25 points in 27 games. The Silverbacks are tied for fifth in the Interior Division with the Trail Smoke Eaters who have one game in hand on the ‘Backs. The Silverbacks and Smoke Eaters are four points behind the Centennials who are in fourth place.
The Warriors come into tonight’s game after winning 4-3 over the Vees in Penticton on Saturday, November 29th and the Warriors are now 14-8-0-5 with 33 points in 27 games. West Kelowna is third in the Interior, two points behind the Vernon Vipers who have one game in hand on the Warriors and West Kelowna is four points ahead of the Merritt Centennials.
The Warriors have won the first two meetings with the ‘Backs, after back-to-back overtime games. On Friday, October 31st at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm, Michael Buonincontri opened the scoring for West Kelowna just 12 seconds into the game and Josh Bly gave the visitors a two-nothing leading going into the second frame. The Silverbacks trailed two-nothing in the third period before the ‘Backs scored three consecutive goals as Chase Priskie, Shane Danyluk and Karl El-Mir all found the back of the net in first four minutes and 13 seconds and the Silverbacks lead 3-2. Bly tied the game for the Warriors later in the period and Andrew Johnson won the game for West Kelowna only 28 seconds into double overtime. The Warriors out-shot the ‘Backs 39-33.
On Saturday November 1 at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna, now Chilliwack Chief Bennett Morrison gave the Silverbacks their first lead in the season series as he opened in the scoring in the first period. But the Warriors tied the game and took the lead in the second frame, as Andrew Johnson potted both goals. The 1-1 marker came on the power-play with Shane Danyluk in the box for slashing. And Andrew Farny tied the score at two early in the third, before Jason Cotton restored the Warriors lead less than two minutes later on a 5-on-3 man-advantage with Logan Mick and Josh Blanchard in the box. But now Kelowna Chief in the KIJHL, Nic Josephs scored the 3-3 tying goal for the ‘Backs with 57 seconds remaining in the third sending the team’s to overtime for the second consecutive night. And Liam Blackburn scored the game winner for West Kelowna 1:04 into the extra frame. The Silverbacks out-shot the Warriors 33-21.
Tonight will be the Silverbacks debut of Branden Wagner, the 18-year-old centre of Kelowna was acquired on Monday from the Vernon Vipers in exchange for futures. The former Okanagan Rocket in the BCMML has three goals, one assist and four penalty minutes 24 games in his first full season in the BCHL. Wagner scored one goal in two games with the Warriors in 2012-13.
Liam Blackburn remains atop the Warriors in team scoring and is second in the BCHL with 13 goals and 30 assists for 43 points in 27 games. As well as Brayden Gelsinger is 10th in the BCHL with 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points in 28 games. Silverback’s defenseman Andrew Farny still leads the team in scoring with seven goals and 21 assists for 28 points in 27 games, while Taro Hirose has ten goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 27 games.
The Warriors have scored 101 goals in 27 games, while the Silverbacks have scored 88. The ‘Backs have allowed 88 goals compared to West Kelowna at 99.
All Silverbacks regular season and playoff games are webcast via http://www.fasthockey.com as well as audio only at http://mixlr.com/sasilverbacks/ Also, all Silverbacks road games are broadcast on CKVS-FM 93.7 http://www.voiceoftheshuswap Tonight’s broadcast from Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna Arm will begin with the Pre-game show at 6:45p.m., the opening Face-off is set for 7p.m.