The Silverbacks (21-28-3-3) host the Merritt Centennials (21-24-2-8) this afternoon at 3pm at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm, 18 hours after the Silverbacks beat the Penticton Vees (38-13-1-2) 5-1 on Saturday in the South Okanagan.
The Silverbacks outshot the Vees 13-10 in a scoreless first period. Connor Sundquist opened the scoring in the second, a short-handed and unassisted goal for his 12th of the season at 1:20. Nathan Iannone increased the lead to 2-0 less than a minute later, his fourth of the season at 2:11. Austin Chorney then gave the visitors a 3-0 lead with his point shot through traffic on the power-play, his third of season at 7:03. Penticton finished the scoring in the middle period, the Vees got within two at 17:30.
The home team lead 12-7 on the shot clock in the middle frame. Jared Turcotte increased the lead to 4-1 late in the third, his 13th with an empty net goal as Turcotte banked the puck off of the boards in Silverbacks territory and down the ice into the empty Vees goal. Ryan Hogg finished the scoring in front of the Penticton goal, Hogg’s 7th at 19:44. Penticton outshot Salmon Arm 14-9 in the third, and 36-29 Vees total.
Trevin Kozlowski made 35 saves in the victory. The Silverbacks power-play finished 1-for-5, and the penalty-kill was a perfect 5-for-5. The Silverbacks finished the season series by winning 4 of the 6 regular season meetings with Penticton, outscoring the Vees 22-14.
The Silverbacks began this weekend by securing a playoff spot with a 4-0 shutout victory at home over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (16-30-2-7) on Friday night at the Shaw Centre. Merritt won 4-2 at home vs the Trail Smoke Eaters (25-25-1-5) last night (Saturday). Salmon Arm will visit the Cowichan Valley Capitals coming up on Wednesday at 6pm on Vancouver Island, and the Silverbacks will finish their regular season schedule on home ice on Saturday, February 25th versus the West Kelowna Warriors (26-26-0-2) at 7pm at the Shaw Centre.
The top two teams in the Interior will receive a first round playoff bye, third place will meet sixth and fourth versus fifth in Best-of-7 series which will get underway early in next month.