History will be made tonight (Friday) at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm, as the Silverbacks (4-1-1-0) host the Wenatchee Wild (5-0) at 7p.m.
The Wild of Wenatchee, Washington are the new addition to the BCHL this season. The Wild are also the only unbeaten team with 10 points in their first 5 games, 2 points up on the Chilliwack Chiefs for first in the Mainland Division. The Wild have allowed just 7 goals thus far, while scoring 24.
Tonight will be Brandon Kegler’s debut in a Silverbacks jersey. The 18-year-old of Leduc, Alberta was acquired earlier this week. Zach Dyment, the second season Silverback netminder has been released. Kegler is 6’2, 200lbs and was drafted by the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League. He stopped 69 of 80 shots in 3 WHL games in 2013-14. Most recently with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Kegler has also played in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
The ‘Backs come into this weekend after a 3-0 shutout victory over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at the Bauer BCHL Showcase at Chilliwack on Friday, September 25th. The Silverbacks began the event with a 3-2 loss to the Langley Rivermen, the ‘Backs first loss of the season on Thursday afternoon, September 24th at Prospera Centre.
The Wild come into the Shaw Centre after a 3-1 win over the Smoke Eaters and a 3-2 victory versus the Vernon Vipers last week at Chilliwack.
The Silverbacks earned 9 points in 6 games in September, and are second in the Interior Division, 1 point back of first which is occupied by the Penticton Vees (5-1). The ‘Backs are 1 point ahead of both the Merritt Centennials (4-4) and West Kelowna Warriors (4-3). The Centennials beat up on the Warriors 9-1 earlier this week Wednesday, September 30th at the Nicola Valley.
3 Silverbacks lead the team in scoring after the first 6 games. Ross Heidt has 6 goals and 2 assists, Nick Hutchison has scored 4 goals and 4 helpers, while Taro Hirose has yet to score a goal but has 8 assists in the 6 games.
The Wild are lead by forward Mike Coyne with 8 points, 1 goal and 7 assists in 5 games. Defenceman Tyler Rockwell has 4 goals and 2 assists in 5 games with Wenatchee.
The Wild have the league maximum of 6 import players, including 3 Canadians. A player hailing from outside of Washington state, Colorado, Florida and Missouri is ruled an import with the Wild. Among the imports are Canadian forwards Kyle Stephan of Barrie, Ont., Mathew Baker of Midhurst, Ont. and defenceman Logan Milliken of Canmore, AB.
The ‘Backs play game 2 of this 5 game home stand tomorrow night (Saturday) when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters (2-4) and will be at home to the Merritt Centennials on Wednesday, October 7th. Both games are 7p.m. starts at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.
The Silverbacks will make their first and only regular season visit to Wenatchee on Friday, January 8th.
Tune into CKVS each Monday night throughout the season beginning at 7p.m. for 30 minutes or more of Silverbacks talk, including interviews and news from around the BCHL.