GAME PREVIEW: GM #37 Vees at Silverbacks


Game Time: 6:00 pm PST

Location: Shaw Centre

Radio: Bounce 800 AM

Webcast: Flo Hockey 

Season Series

Dec. 8 Penticton 0 at Salmon Arm 1

Dec. 9 Salmon Arm 2 at Penticton 1

Dec 30. Penticton 3 at Salmon Arm 4


Penticton Vees

GM & Head Coach: Fred Harbinson

Record : GP 36 25-7-2-2 (1st, Interior)

Home: 16-2-0-0

Away: 9-5-2-2

Last Game: 4-1 win vs. Surrey (Jan. 27)

GF: 136

GA: 81

Power Play: (39/124) 31.5% 1st

Penalty Kill: (24/104) 76.9% 11th

Scoring Leader: Callum Arnott (18-16-34)

The Vees open February on the road with games in Salmon Arm and Merritt this weekend. Penticton closed out January with a 4-1 win over the BCHL’s to team, the Surrey Eagles, last Saturday.

The Vees’ win over the Eagles earned them a weekend split, as they lost to the Chilliwack Chiefs 3-1 a night earlier.

Penticton sits first in the Interior Conference, two points ahead of the West Kelowna Warriors and four points up on the Silverbacks. All three teams have played 36 games.

The Vees are still in search of their first win against Salmon Arm this season, as they have lost the previous three meetings and all three were decided by one goal. Penticton fell 4-3 to the ‘Backs on December 30th in their last encounter. The Vees are 0-2 so far at the Shaw Centre. A weird quirk in the schedule sees the Vees play in Salmon Arm four times in the six-game season series.

Player to Watch: Forward Billy Renfrew has three goals and five points in his last three games. Renfrew has 12 goals and 28 points in 33 games this season.

The Vees are 9-5-2-2 on the road this season and are 2-3-0-0 in their last five away from the SOEC. Penticton is 20-6-1-2 against the Interior.

Salmon Arm Silverbacks

GM: Brooks Christensen

Head Coach: Tyler Shattock

2023-24 : GP 36 24-10-0-2 (3rd, Interior)

Home: 14-2-0-1

Away: 10-8-0-1

Last Game: 6-0 win at Prince George (Jan. 27)

GF: 126

GA: 87

Power Play: (23/109) 21.1% 12th

Penalty Kill: (19/106) 82.1% 3rd

Scoring Leader: Tristen Allen (5-30-35)

The Silverbacks are coming off a weekend sweep up north, as they beat Prince George twice last weekend at Kopar Memorial Arena. Salmon Arm won 5-3 Friday and shutout the Spruce Kings 6-0 Saturday. Saturday’s win was rookie goaltender Ryan Grout’s first career BCHL shutout.

The Silverbacks have won five of their last six games and have lost just twice since the calendar flipped to 2024. Salmon Arm has been a very good team at home, winning 13 of 16 games at the Shaw Centre.

Salmon Arm’s 87 goals against is second in the Interior and third-best in the BCHL behind Surrey and Penticton. Goaltender Eli Pulver has been excellent this season. The 20-year-old has 16 wins and sports a 2.31 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

Player to Watch: Pulver, who recently committed to Minnesota State Mankato, is 3-0 against the Vees and has allowed just seven goals in those three starts. He owns a .960 save percentage against Penticton.

Salmon Arm is 17-8-0-2 against the Interior.