‘Backs host the Vees, Teddy Bear toss night at the Shaw Centre.

The Silverbacks host the BCHL’s top team tonight, the Penticton Vees at 7p.m. at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. Tonight will be the fourth meeting of the season, after 3 games in October. The Vees won the first meeting 5-1 in Penticton on Friday, October 3rd at South Okanagan Events Centre. Nick Hutchison opened the scoring, short-handed and unassisted in the first period giving the Silverbacks a 1-0 lead before Hutchison went down early in the second period at the Vees blue-line with a broken ankle. Hutchison who is scheduled to return to the ‘Backs line-up in the New Year has 3 goals and 2 assists in his first 5 games along with 4 penalty minutes.

The Vees then came into the the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm on Saturday, October 4th and lead 2-0 in the second period before Chase Priskie, Taylor Maruya and Shane Danyluk all scored to put the ‘Backs in front 3-2 in the third. The Vees tied the game and won it 4-3 in double overtime, after Damion Chreck was penalized for tying up Demico Hannoun along the boards in Silverbacks territory and Hannoun was awarded a penalty shot and scored.

The Silverbacks hosted the Vees on Sunday, October 26th and Penticton opened the scoring in the second period and lead 2-0 in the third before Colton Thibault’s power-play goal cut the lead in half. The Vees added an empty-netter for a 3-1 win.

The Vees have out-shot the ‘Backs in all 3 games, while the Silverbacks power-play in the season series is 3-for-8 and the Vees are 2-for-10 on the man-advantage. The ‘Backs power-play is ranked fifth in the BCHL at 24.14%, as the Silverbacks have scored 28 power-play goals in 116 opportunities. The Vees power-play is 10th at 21.62% with 32 power-play goals in 148 opportunities.

The ‘Backs have lost their last 2 games, after falling 5-3 at home to the Chilliwack Chiefs on Wednesday at the Shaw Centre. The Vees have won their last 3, 3-1 over the Powell River Kings in Penticton on Saturday, and a 4-3 win versus the Vipers in Vernon last weekend, along with a 3-1 victory at home over Trail on December 3rd.

The Vees will be without four players who have been selected to Team Canada West for the World Junior A Challenge which begins this weekend in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Defenseman Gabe Bast and Dante Fabbro, the team’s highest scoring defenseman along with forwards Demico Hannoun who is second in Vees scoring with 16 goals and 12 assists in 30 games and Tyson Jost who is fifth with 11 goals and 15 assists in 25 games. The Silverbacks Taro Hirose was not selected for Team Canada West after attending the camp in Calgary; Hirose has 10 goals and 20 assists for 30 points in 30 games.

The Vees signed 20-year-old defenseman Shayne Gwinner yesterday and placed forward Matt Serratore on the 30-day Injured Reserve as he recovers from a broken leg. Gwinner, of Drumheller, Alberta has played 119 games between the AJHL and the WHL.

The Silverbacks are 4-7-1-2 at the Shaw Centre this season, while the Vees are 14-2-0-1 on the road.

The Vees are 26-4-0-1 with 53 points in 31 games, 14 points ahead of the second place Vernon Vipers. The Silverbacks are 10-13-2-5 with 27 points in 30 games alone in fifth in the Interior Division, 7 points behind the Merritt Centennials and 2 points ahead of the Trail Smoke Eaters who have two games in hand on the ‘Backs.

‘Backs Head Coach Brandon West with his thought’s ahead of tonight’s game.

The ‘Backs acquired 18-year-old Josh Laframboise from the Vees on November 14th in exchange for the CJHL playing rights of Connor Chartier. Laframboise has 4 goals and 1 assist and 13 penalty minutes in 10 games as a Silverback, after beginning the season with 3 goals and 5 assists and 4 penalty minutes in 21 games with the Vees. Laframboise scored a goal and 3 assists against the Silverbacks in the first three meetings this season. Chartier has 2 goals, 5 assists and 4 penalty minutes in his 8 games with the Vees.

The Vees lead the BCHL with 127 goals in 31 games, and have allowed only 58. The ‘Backs have scored 95 goals and given up 105 in 30 games. Riley Alferd leads the Vees in scoring with 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points in 31 games. Defenseman Andrew Farny leads the Silverbacks with 7 goals and 24 assists for 31 points in 30 games.

Brendan Barry and Hunter Miska of the Vees lead the BCHL among goalies. Barry is 9-0 in 10 games with 2 shutouts and a 1.59 GAA, while Miska is 17-5 in 22 games with 3 shutouts and a 1.96 GAA.

The Silverbacks will finish their weekend tomorrow night in Merritt at 7:30p.m. at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena versus the Centennials, and are back at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm on Friday, December 19th at 7p.m. to take on the Trail Smoke Eaters.

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 the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm will begin with the Pre-game show at 6:45p.m., the opening Face-off is set for 7p.m.

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