The Silverbacks (16-5-2-1) scored 10 goals Friday in a 10-1 victory at home over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (9-12-1-1) at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. Tonight the Silverbacks will play the second of back-to-back games for their only regular season visit with the Prince George Spruce Kings (6-17-0-2) at 7p.m.
Damian Chrcek scored his first goal of the season to open the scoring at 4:15 of the opening period on Friday. And Kodi Schwarz scored his first of the season to increase the lead to 2-0 at 11:32. Colton Thibault’s 14th, a power-play marker put the home team ahead 3-0 at 13:57 of the first period. The Bulldogs got past Brandon Kegler with 2:21 remaining in period one and the Silverbacks lead 3-1 after 20 minutes. The ‘Backs outshot the visitors 23-8.
The Silverbacks scored six goals in the middle frame, to take a 9-1 lead. Josh Laframboise began with his sixth at 2:31. The ‘Backs then scored back-to-back, short-handed goals only 37 seconds apart. Josh Blanchard with his eighth of the season, short-handed and unassisted at 5:27 as Ryley Booth was penalized for cross-checking and unsportsmanlike contact. Ross Heidt then deposited his 16th, also short-handed at 6:04. Chrcek’s second of the game and season increased the lead to 7-1 and with the man-advantage at 13:53. Heidt scored his second short-handed goal of the game at 17:58, and Elijiah Barriga finished the second period scoring with his fourth at 19:19. The Silverbacks outshot the Bulldogs 28-8 in the middle period.
Mitch Newsome scored the only goal in the final frame, his third for a 10-1 final. Alberni Valley outshot the ‘Backs 16-11 in the third, but the Silverbacks finished ahead on the shot clock overall at 52-33.
Kegler stopped 32 of 33 shots for his fourth win in seven games with the Silverbacks. Both Angus Redmond and Nick Hutchison sat out with injuries.
The ‘Backs finished three-for-seven on the power-play, and three-for-four on the penalty-kill which included scoring three short-handed goals.
The ‘Backs lead the BCHL with 10 short-handed goals and have the fourth ranked penalty-kill at over 85-percent. Salmon Arm’s power-play sits fifth in the league, just over 22-percent with 25 power-play goals.
The Silverbacks are now 8-2-2-1 at the Shaw Centre, and 5-1-0-0 in the first six games of November.
The Silverbacks still sit second in the Interior Division and are tied for second overall in the BCHL with the Chilliwack Chiefs (16-5-1-2). The Penticton Vees (23-2-0-0) had their win streak end at 23 games last night (Friday), on the road versus the Langley Rivermen (14-11-0-0). The Vees allowed two goals in the final 80 seconds of the third period and lost 4-2 in Langley. Penticton hadn’t lost since opening night, 4-2 to the Silverbacks in Salmon Arm in the division rivals only regular season meeting to date. The ‘Backs and Vees won’t meet next until Friday, December 11th at 7p.m. at the Shaw Centre in game one of a back-to-back home-and-home set. The Silverbacks are five points in front of the West Kelowna Warriors (14-8-0-2) and 10 ahead of the Vernon Vipers (12-13-0-1) who occupy fourth in Interior Division. Meanwhile, the Spruce Kings are fifth in the six team Mainland Division with 14 points in 25 games. The Spruce Kings are 10 points back of the Coquitlam Express (10-10-1-3), and six in front of the Surrey Eagles (4-20-0-0).
The Silverbacks have 104 goals, tied with the Vees for the league lead. The Spruce Kings have the scored the second fewest amount of goals with 56. The Silverbacks 65 goals allowed is the fifth fewest, while the Spruce Kings have allowed the third highest at 104. Defenceman Adam Brubacher leads the Spruce Kings in scoring, the 20-year-old has eight goals and 12 assists in 25 games.
The Spruce Kings power-play sits 12th at over 18-percent with 96 goals and six short-handed goals against. Prince George’s penalty-kill is ranked 16th of the 17 teams at over 73-percent. The Spruce Kings have given up 30 power-play markers, while scoring twice short-handed.
The Silverbacks lost 4-3 to Prince George on Sunday, October 11th at the Shaw Centre.
The ‘Backs next action will be on Friday, November 27th as they begin a home-and-home set with the Vernon Vipers (12-13-0-1) at 7p.m. in Salmon Arm. The Vipers will host the Silverbacks on Saturday, November 28th at 6p.m. in Vernon.