The Silverbacks and West Kelowna Warriors meet for the seventh and final time this regular season at 7 p.m. tonight at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm with just 10 regular season games remaining. The Warriors have won their last two games, after shutting out the Vernon Vipers 3-0 in West Kelowna on Tuesday, February 3rd. Meanwhile, the ‘Backs come into the weekend after back-to-back shutout victories over the Vipers last weekend, 3-0 in Vernon on Friday, January 30th and 1-0 in Salmon Arm on Saturday, the 31st.
Angus Redmond stopped 91 of 92 shots for the ‘Backs last week, after the 1-0 loss in Penticton on Wednesday, January 28th followed by back-to-back shutouts over Vernon the 19-year-old was named BCHL Player of the Week. He had a 0.34 goals-against-average, and .989 save-percentage. Redmond has 17 wins in 40 games with five shutouts.
The Silverbacks finished January 8-6-0-0, their best month of the season thus far. While, the Warriors were 4-7-0-1 last month but are in the fourth and final playoff spot in the Interior Division. West Kelowna is 24-20-0-6 with 54 points in 50 games, tied with the Merritt Centennials who have two games in hand on the Warriors and are in third place at 26-20-0-2 with 54 points in 48 games. The ‘Backs are 21-19-3-5 with 50 points in 48 games, four points behind both the Cents and Warriors but the Silverbacks have two games in hand on West Kelowna.
The Warriors lead the season series with the ‘Backs with two regulation wins and two overtime victories, each team has scored 19 goals. West Kelowna began the season with a 4-3 double OT win at the Shaw Centre on Friday, October 31st and won again in overtime, 4-3 on Saturday, November 1st in the Okanagan. The Silverbacks shutout the Warriors 3-0 in West Kelowna on Friday, December 5th before losing 7-1 in Salmon Arm on Saturday, the 6th. ‘The Backs then beat the Warriors 7-1 at the Shaw Centre on Friday, January 2nd. The Warriors won 3-2 at home on Friday, January 9th.
The Warriors power-play is ranked ninth in the BCHL with 53 goals and is 6-for-31 in the first six games versus the ‘Backs, while the Silverbacks man-advantage is 11th with 36 goals and 2-for-20 in the season series. West Kelowna’s penalty-kill is 4th in the BCHL and 18-for-20 against the Silverbacks, while the ‘Backs are 9th and 25-for-31 in the season series.
Liam Blackburn leads the Warriors in scoring and is fourth overall in the BCHL with 21 goals and 47 assists in 50 games. Brayden Gelsinger has 15 goals and 34 assists in 51 games and is ranked 24th, along with Jason Cotton of the Warriors at 25th with 22 goals and 26 assists in 50 games. Andrew Farny leads the Silverbacks and is the highest scoring defenseman in the BCHL, 32nd overall with 14 goals and 32 assists in 48 games. Taro Hirose of the ‘Backs is 33rd with 16 goals and 28 assists in 48 games.
West Kelowna has 171 goals in 50 games and has allowed 185, the fifth highest goals against in the league. The ‘Backs have the fifth lowest goals against with 148 in 48 games, but 152 goals for is the third lowest in the BCHL.
The Silverbacks are 11-8-2-2 at the Shaw Centre this season, while the Warriors are 11-11-0-5 on the road. The ‘Backs are 14-10-2-3 versus Interior Division opponents, compared to the Warriors 14-15-0-3.
Tonight is the first of three games in as many night for the Silverbacks, as they will travel to Merritt tomorrow night to take on the Centennials at 7:30p.m. and finish the weekend on Sunday at 3p.m. back at the Shaw Centre as they host the Surrey Eagles. Elsewhere tonight, Merritt is in Trail at 7:30p.m.
‘Backs Head Coach Brandon West with his thought’s ahead of tonight’s game.
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.