The Silverbacks season high six-game win streak came to an end last night in West Kelowna as the ‘Backs lost their first game since December 10th, 3-2 to the Warriors and are back in action tonight at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm versus the Prince George Spruce Kings at 7p.m.
Neither team found the back of the net in the opening period last night as each team received a pair of power-plays. Angus Redmond made 16 saves in the first frame, while the Warriors Andy Desautels stopped 9 shots.
The Silverbacks opened the scoring just 17 seconds into the middle period as they moved the puck into the Warriors territory from the face-off, Ross Heidt sent it on goal from the right corner and the puck deflected off of Bryden Marsh just along the goal line where Josh Blanchard pushed it in. Blanchard’s 11th of the season from Marsh and Heidt.
The Warriors answered back though at 4:36, Jonathan Desbiens potted his 18th from Brayden Gelsinger and Tyler Kunz to tie the game at 1. And West Kelowna took it’s first lead at 8:03, Andrew Johnson scored his 15th from Gelsinger and Kunz and the Warriors lead 2-1.
Angus Redmond made a massive glove save on Tanner Campbell at the top of his crease to keep the Silverbacks within 1, just seconds after Shane Danyluk’s hooking penalty expired.
And the ‘Backs responded and Blanchard tied the game at 2 at 11:37 as Heidt worked the puck into the zone and fired a shot wide, before Blanchard found the puck in the slot and scored his second of the game and period. Blanchard’s 12th of the season from Heidt and Marsh.
The Warriors took their second and final lead of the game with just 32 seconds remaining in the second period, as Jordan Masters scored his 12th from Debsbiens and Gelsinger at 19:28. The Silverbacks out-shot the Warriors 14-10 in the middle period.
Neither team scored in the third, as the ‘Backs out-shot the Warriors again, 10-9 but West Kelowna out-shot the Silverbacks overall 35-33. Both teams finished 0-for-5 on the power-play.
The Silverbacks and Warriors have one last regular season meeting on Friday, February 6th at 7p.m. at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.
The ‘Backs are 16-14-3-5 with 40 points in 38 games, and are 8-7-2-2 at the Shaw Centre. Meanwhile the Spruce Kings lost 5-3 to the Vipers last night in Vernon and are 18-16-0-4 with 40 points in 38 games, and are 10-8-0-1 on the road. The Silverbacks are 12-9-2-3 versus the Interior Division.
The Spruce Kings have scored 122 goals and allowed 133, while the ‘Backs have potted 126 goals and allowed 120.
The Silverbacks are in 5th place in the Interior Division, four points behind the Merritt Centennials who sit in fourth and each team has played 38 games. The ‘Backs now trail the third place West Kelowna Warriors by seven points but still have two games in hand. The Silverbacks are 10 points ahead of the sixth place Trail Smoke Eaters, with a game in hand.
The Spruce Kings are third in the Mainland Division, five points back of the second place Langley Rivermen with two games in hand and Prince George is five points ahead of the fourth place Coquitlam Express with five games in hand.
Jeremiah Luedtke leads the Spruce Kings in scoring and is ranked 12th overall in the BCHL with 13 goals and 31 assists in 38 games. Andrew Farny leads the Silverbacks in scoring and is the second highest scoring defenseman in the BCHL and 27th overall with 11 goals and 28 assists in 38 games.
Tonight is the return of former ‘Backs defenseman Cole McCaskill, the 18-year-old of Kamloops was traded by the Silverbacks to the Spruce Kings on January 1st for futures. McCaskill had 4 assists and 6 penalty minutes in his 18 games with the ‘Backs this season after recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.
The Hockey Canada roster deadline and BCHL transfer deadline is tonight at 8 p.m. as teams must have 22 players overall on their roster. No more than six players can be 1994-born players and no more than 6 can be import players, only American born players are considered imports.
Tonight is the first of a home-and-home set between the ‘Backs and Spruce Kings, as the Silverbacks next game is in Prince George on Thursday, January 15th at 7p.m.
‘Backs Head Coach Brand West with his thought’s ahead of tonight’s game.
The ‘Backs next home game is Saturday, January 17th when they host the Island Divison leading Nanaimo Clippers at 7p.m.
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.