‘Backs visit the Clippers for the second meeting in as many weekends.

The Silverbacks lost their ninth road game of the season in regulation last night, 4-2 in Port Alberni as the ‘Backs met the Bulldogs in the second of their three-game Island Division road trip which will conclude at 2 p.m. this afternoon in Nanaimo.

Neither team found the back of the net in the opening period as Alberni Valley out-shot the Silverbacks 8-5.

The home team opened the scoring in the second frame, as Chase Priskie lost the puck in front of Angus Redmond and Mitch Makin potted his 17th of the season just 1:15 into the period. The ‘Backs responded though, with Nick Hutchison scoring his second goal in as many games at 5:59. Hutchison reeled in a bouncing puck at the Bulldog’s blue-line and flipped it up and over the glove of Billy Christopoulos. Hutchison’s 5th of the season from Bryden Marsh tied the game 1-1. The Bulldogs out-shot the Silverbacks 13-8 in the middle period.

Alberni Valley retook it’s lead, 2:58 into the third period during a ‘Backs power-play as Scott Clark scored his 18th from Makin and Drew Weich short-handed putting the Bulldogs ahead 2-1.

And Ross Heidt tied the game 2-2 at 8:13, as he skated in over the right-wing and fired a shot glove side for his 12th from Andrew Farny.

But, Makin scored his second of the game just 20 seconds later at 8:33 which proved to be the game winner. Brett Stewart and Clark with the assists. Carson Bolduc was penalized for roughing with 1:46 remaining as the ‘Backs trailed 3-2 and Tyler Povelofskie scored into the empty net on the power-play at 19:26, his 4th from Eric Therrien.

The Bulldogs out-shot the Silverbacks 8-6 in the third period, and 29-19 overall. The Bulldogs finished 1-for-4 with the man-advantage, while the ‘Backs were 0-for-4 on the power-play.

The Silverbacks are now 19-17-3-5 with 46 points in 44 games and are still in fifth place in the Interior Division. The ‘Backs are four points behind the West Kelowna Warriors who lost 2-1 in overtime in Powell River last night. The ‘Backs have two games in hand on the Warriors who are in Surrey at 4 p.m. this afternoon. The Silverbacks are four points back of the Merritt Centennials who lost 5-1 at home to the Vernon Vipers last night. Both the Cents and Warriors are tied with 50 points each.

The Clippers are coming off of a 6-1 victory at home over the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday and lead the Island Division with 62 points in 44 games. Nanaimo is 30-12-0-2 and 10 points ahead of the second place Kings, with two games in hand. The Clippers are second overall in the BCHL, 11 points behind the Penticton Vees with five fewer victories.

The Silverbacks defeated the Clippers just over a week ago, 5-4 at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. The ‘Backs opened the scoring in the first period before Nanaimo tied the game and teams traded goals in the second frame with the Silverbacks leading 4-3 into the third. The visitors tied the game 4-4 with 2:22 remaining and Josh Blanchard won it for the home team just 46 seconds into the extra frame. Nanaimo is 4-1-0-2 versus the Interior Division, while the ”Backs are 3-4-0-1 versus the Island Division.

Nanaimo leads the BCHL with 184 goals in 44 games, and has the second fewest goals against with 125. The Silverbacks have 147 goals in 44 games and 143 goals against.

Silverbacks Head Coach Brandon West with his thought’s ahead of today’s game.

Brendan Taylor leads the Clippers with 21 goals and 25 assists in 44 games, he is ranked 22nd overall in the BCHL. Andrew Farny leads the ‘Backs and is the highest scoring defenseman in the BCHL with 14 goals and 32 assists in 44 games, 24th overall. Cole Maier of the Clippers is 25th overall with 21 goals and 24 assists in 44 games.

Clippers goalie Guillaume Decelles is ranked third in the BCHL with a 2.58 goals-against average and .925 save percentage, Decelles is 27-9-0 with one shut-out. The Silverbacks Angus Redmond is ranked eighth, with a 2.92 goals-against average and .904 save percentage, Redmond is 15-18-2 with three shut-outs.

The Silverbacks will return to Salmon Arm after today’s game and continue their stretch of six games, in nine days at 7p.m. on Wednesday, January 28th as they travel to Penticton to take on the Vees. The ‘Backs next game at the Shaw Centre is at 7p.m. on Saturday, January 31st as they host the Vernon Vipers in the back half of a home-and-home set which will begin at 7p.m. on Friday, January 30th in Vernon.

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 Today’s broadcast from Nanaimo will begin with the Pre-game show at 1:45p.m., the Opening Face-off is set for 2p.m.

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