‘Backs host Smoke Eaters, first of home-and-home.

The Silverbacks host the Trail Smoke Eaters in the fourth meeting of the season tonight at 7 pm at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm tonight.

The ‘Backs earned 3 of a possible 4 points last weekend as they came back to tie the league leading Penticton Vees 2-2 on Friday. After trailing 2-0 in the second period, Phillip Middleton scored his 3rd of the season to cut the lead in half and Branden Wagner tied the game in the third with his 4th. Angus Redmond stopped 30 shots for ‘Backs. The Silverbacks went into the Nicola Valley on Saturday and Carson Bolduc opened the scoring in the first period but the Centennials scored twice in the second and went ahead 3-1 early in the third. The Silverbacks then exploded with 5 unanswered goals, Ross Heidt his 7th, Colton Thibault potted a pair and now has 9 on the season, along with Bolduc who scored 2 for his hat-trick and 13th in the 6-3 win in Merritt. Angus Redmond made 32 saves.

The Smoke Eaters come into Salmon Arm on a 7-game losing skid, Trail hasn’t won a game since the 29th of November and lost 5-3 to the Warriors in West Kelowna on Tuesday. The Smoke Eaters have been outscored 38-21 during their slide.

The Silverbacks are 11-13-3-5 with 30 points in 32 games, 8 points behind the Centennials for fourth place in the BCHL’s Interior Division. The Smoke Eaters are 12-17-0-2 with 26 points in 31 games, Trail is 4 points behind the Silverbacks but the Smoke Eaters have 1 game in hand.

The ‘Backs lead the season series with the Smoke Eaters 2 games to 1, after opening with a 4-2 win at the Cominco Arena in Trail on Saturday, September 27th before the Smoke Eaters evened the series with a 4-1 victory in Trail on Wednesday, October 22nd and the Silverbacks won 7-4 in Salmon Arm on Friday, October 24th.
The ‘Backs are 4-7-2-2 at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm, while the Smoke Eaters are 5-9-0-1 on the road. The Silverbacks are 7-8-2-3 versus the Interior Division, compared to who is Trail 3-11-0-1 versus the Interior.

19-year-old Jake Lucchini leads the Smoke Eaters in scoring and is 5th in BCHL scoring with 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points in 31 games, while 20-year-old Charlie Zuccarini is 2nd in team scoring and 7th in the B.C.H.L. with 20 goals and 19 assists for 39 points in 31 games. Andrew Farny is atop the ‘Backs score sheet with 7 goals and 25 assists in 32 games, Taro Hirose is 1 point back with 10 goals and 21 assists in 32 games and Carson Bolduc has 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points in 32 games.

The Silverbacks power-play is now ranked 3rd in the B.C.H.L. ticking at 24.17% and 29 power-play goals, while the Smoke Eaters man-advantage is 5th at 78.63% with 30 power-play goals. Trial’s penalty-kill is ranked 6th at 80.00%, while the Silverbacks are 8th in the BCHL at 78.63%.

Tonight is the ‘Backs debut of defenseman Jordan Burns. The 19-year-old of Vernon, B.C. was acquired on Tuesday from the Powell River Kings in exchange for futures. Burns has 3 goals and 13 assists in 22 games thus far this season. The former Okanagan Rocket of the B.C. Major Midget League is in his 3rd season in the BCHL, in 145 regular season and playoff games with the Kings he scored 9 goals and 55 assists and is committed to the University Alaska-Fairbanks for next season.

‘Backs Head Coach Brandon West with his thought’s after this past week and moving into the final weekend before the holiday break.

The Silverbacks and Smoke Eaters will meet again tomorrow night at 7:30p.m. at the Cominco Arena in Trail, before the holiday break. The ‘Backs will begin 2015 on Friday, January 2nd at 7p.m. at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm as they host the West Kelowna Warriors, and on Saturday, January 3rd at 7p.m. at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm as they host the Penticton Vees.

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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