Silverbacks host Vipers, in back half of home-and-home.

The Silverbacks skated into Vernon last night and opened their home-and-home series with the Vipers by shutting out the second place team in the Interior-Division, 3-0 as the ‘Backs scored their second shutout in as many Friday’s. The Silverbacks will host the Vipers tonight at 7p.m. at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm as part of ‘Hockey Day in Salmon Arm’.

Neither team found the back of the net in the first period, as the ‘Backs edged the Vipers 9-8 in shots, and Angus Redmond is a big reason the game was scoreless as he stopped Colton McCarthy on a breakaway from centre ice late in the opening frame.

The Silverbacks opened the scoring in the middle period, as Damian Chrcek fired the puck toward the net from the right point and Shane Danyluk deflected it in past Vipers starter Jarrod Schamerhorn for Danyluk’s ninth of the season from Carson Bolduc and Chrcek at 3:17.

Thomas Plese increased the lead to 2-0 with his sixth at 11:42, as Chase Priskie sent the puck toward the net from the left point and Plese found the rebound. Taylor Maruya picked up an assist as well, and the Silverbacks lead 2-0 after 40 minutes. The Vipers outshot the ‘Backs 12-10 in the second period.

Maruya had the only goal of the third, his third of the season at 17:27 as Danyluk shot the puck on goal from the left point and Maruya found the rebound, skated behind the net and beat Schamerhorn with a wrap-around goal, Danyluk earned the assist.

The Vipers outshot the Silverbacks 11-3 in third period and 31-22 overall, as Angus Redmond made 31 saves for his fourth shutout of the season.

The Vipers finished 0-for-3 with the power-play, while the Silverbacks were 0-for-2 with the man-advantage. The ‘Backs power-play is 11th in the BCHL with 36 power-play goals, and 4-for-17 in the season series. While, the Vipers are ranked 12th in the league on the man-advantage and have 38 power-play goals and are 3-for-15 in the season series. Vernon’s penalty-kill is 3rd in the BCHL with 39 power-play goals against and nine short-handed markers, the Vipers are 13-for-17 versus the Silverbacks on the PK. The ‘Backs PK is 10th overall, with 42 power-play goals against and six short-handed goals, and the Silverbacks are 12-for-15 on the penalty-kill against the Vipers.

The two team’s will meet again tonight for the sixth meeting of the eight-game season series, each team now has a pair of victories along with a 3-3 tie in Vernon on Saturday, November 8th. The ‘Backs won 2-1 at home over the Vipers on Friday, November 7th, before Vernon came from behind to beat the Silverbacks 7-5 in Salmon Arm on Friday, November 28th. After tonight, two meetings remain with the final game at the Shaw Centre at 7p.m. on Saturday, February 21st.

The ‘Backs are 20-19-3-5 with 48 points in 47 games and are in fifth place in the Interior Division. The Silverbacks are just two points behind the West Kelowna Warriors, with a game in hand on the Warriors who hold down the fourth and final playoff spot, after West Kelowna lost 7-1 to the Centennials in Merritt last night. The ‘Backs trail the Centennials by four points for third in the Interior and Merritt has a game in hand on the Silverbacks.

The Vipers are 30-13-1-2 with 63 points in 46 games and are in second place in the Interior. Vernon is now 14 points behind the league leading Penticton Vees who have one game in hand on the Vipers, who are 11 points ahead of the third place Centennials.

The ‘Backs are now 7-6-0-0 in January, 4-6-0-0 in their last 10 games, 13-10-2-3 versus Interior Division rivals and 10-8-2-2 at the Shaw Centre. Meanwhile, the Vipers are 8-3-0-0 in January, 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games, 17-10-1-1 against the Interior Division and 12-7-0-2 on the road this season.

The Cents are in West Kelowna tonight at 7p.m.

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

The Silverbacks will begin the final month of the regular season with three games in as many days, as the ‘Backs host West Kelowna at 7p.m. on Friday, February 6th at the Shaw Centre before travelling to Merritt to take on the Centennials at 7:30p.m. on Saturday, February 7th and they will wrap up the weekend back in Salmon Arm at 3p.m. on Sunday, February 8th as they host the Surrey Eagles.

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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