The Silverbacks went into Merritt on Saturday, February 7th and beat the Centennials 7-3 for their fourth consecutive victory in the Nicola Valley this season and their fourth consecutive win overall. The ‘Backs conclude their back-to-back-to-back weekend at 3p.m. this afternoon as they host the Surrey Eagles at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.
Bryden Marsh opened the scoring for the visitors last night at 2:16 of the first period, as Marsh put the puck in at the side of the Cents goal for his 11th from Josh Blanchard and Ross Heidt who were working down around the Merritt net. The Silverbacks took a 2-0 lead at 13:31 as Damian Chreck scored his first goal of the season, first as a Silverback and first in the BCHL after he fired the puck toward the net from the left point. Shane Danyluk and Carson Bolduc credited with the assists. And the ‘Backs lead 3-0 in the first frame as Josh Laframboise potted his second goal in as many games, and 10th of season as he was parked in the Centennials crease and swept home the rebound after Bolduc’s shot from the right circle. A power-play marker with Bolduc and Taro Hirose picking up the assists at 19:38. The Silverbacks outshot the Centennials 17-7 in the first period.
Thomas Plese increased the lead to 4-0 in the middle frame with his seventh, unassisted at 12:03 as Plese picked up the puck off of a face-off to the left of the Centennials goal and he skated through the slot and fired a shot past starting goalie Jonah Imoo. The Cents first goal came at 18:28, as Colin Grannary beat Angus Redmond to score his 17th from Griffyn Martin and AP Defenseman Cody Allen of Chase, BC. The ‘Backs lead 4-1 after 40 minutes but the Centennials lead 11-8 on the shot clock in the second period.
Josh Blanchard got the Silverbacks back on the board and increased the lead to 5-1, as he cut toward the net from inside of the Centennials line and backhanded the puck between the pads of Imoo at 6:04 of the third. Blanchard’s 16th from Jordan Burns and Marsh.
The Cents would score a power-play marker and get back within three at 9:32, Grannary with his second of the game and 18th from Martin and Cole Arcuri as Taylor Maruya was off for roughing along with Danyluk and the Centennials Gavin Gould.
The ‘Backs went ahead 6-2 at 11:38, as Andrew Farny got the puck off of a face-off in Centennials territory with the Silverbacks on a 5-on-3 power-play and he fired the puck toward the net from the top of the slot and Danyluk deposited the rebound along the the blocker side. Burns was credited with an assist on Danyluk’s 11th.
And Branden Wagner finished the scoring with his seventh at 17:00, unassisted as he picked up the puck in the neutral zone and raced into Cents territory and wired a shot from the edge of the left circle.
The Silverbacks outshot the Cents 15-12 in the third period and the ‘Backs outshot the Centennials 40-32 overall. The Silverbacks finished 2-for-6 with the man-advantage and 3-for-4 on the penalty-kill.
The ‘Backs now lead the season series 4-2 and outscored the Cents 24-9 in the four victories this season in Merritt. The final regular season meeting is at 7p.m. Friday, February 27th at the Shaw Centre.
The Silverbacks are 23-19-3-5 with 54 points in 50 games and in fifth place in the Interior Division. The ‘Backs are one point behind the fourth place West Kelowna Warriors and have two games in hand on the Warriors, while the Silverbacks are two points behind the Centennials who are in third place.
This afternoon will be the third meeting of the season between the Silverbacks and Surrey Eagles, as the ‘Backs began with a 4-3 double-overtime comeback win over the Eagles on Sunday, September 21st at the Bauer BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack. The Silverbacks then lost a 2-0 lead in the first period and fell 3-2 in OT in Surrey on Wednesday, October 8th.
The Eagles are 8-38-0-3 with 19 points in 49 games and in fifth place in the Mainland Division, 26 points behind Coquitlam in fourth and have been eliminated from the playoffs.
The Eagles come into Salmon Arm after losing 2-1 to the Smoke Eaters in Trail last night, and are 1-9-0-0 in their last 10 games and 1-22-0-2 on the road this season. Meanwhile, the ‘Backs are 6-4-0-0 in their last 10, 12-8-2-2 at the Shaw Centre and 3-3-1-1 versus Mainland Division opponents while the Eagles are 2-8-0-1 versus the Interior.
The Silverbacks power-play is 12th in the BCHL with 38 goals and is 2-for-6 versus the Eagles, while the Eagles man-advantage is 16th with 28 power-play goals and 1-for-10 against the ‘Backs. The Silverbacks penalty-kill is ranked 9th and 9-for-10 versus the Eagles, while the Eagles are 14th on the PK and 4-for-6 against the ‘Backs.
Andrew Farny leads the Silverbacks with 14 goals and 33 assists in 50 games, and is the highest scoring defenseman in the BCHL ranked 31st overall. Darius Davidson leads the Eagles with 21 goals and 25 assists in 49 games and is ranked 34th, while Taro Hirose of the ‘Backs is 36th with 16 goals and 29 assists in 50 games.
‘Backs Head Coach Brandon West with his thought’s on last night’s victory and today’s game as well.
The Silverbacks next action is on Wednesday, February 11th at 7:30p.m. when they will travel to Trail for their final meeting of the season with the Smoke Eaters. The ‘Backs will be in Vernon at 7p.m. on Friday, February 13th to take on the Vipers. And the Silverbacks next game at the Shaw Centre is at 7p.m. on Friday, February 20th as they will host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
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 This afternoon’s broadcast from the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm will begin with the Pre-game show at 2:45p.m., the Opening Face-off is set for 3p.m.