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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Look For 9th Consecutive Victory In Hosting Silverbacks

PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography

The Penticton Vees (39-11-1-1) search for their ninth win in a row as they face-off against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (27-20-3-1) for the final time in the regular season on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

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REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE vs. SALMON ARM

Wednesday, October 16th @ Shaw Centre (5-2 Silverbacks) (BOXSCORE)

Wednesday, November 13th @ Shaw Centre (4-3 Silverbacks) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, November 15th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6-3 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, January 3rd @ Shaw Centre (5-2 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, January 18th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (2-1 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, February 7th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)

The Vees picked up their eighth win in a row on Wednesday night in completing the sweep of their season series against the Surrey Eagles at the South Okanagan Events Centre with a 4-3 victory. Jay O’Brien scored twice in the game, including the game winning goal in the 2nd period, while Steve Holtz and Carson Kosobud added singles in the win. Carl Stankowski turned aside 22 of the 25 shots he faced in his 12th win of the season in the crease.

Penticton has earned wins in each of the last three games against Salmon Arm as they look for the win in the season series. The Vees were on the right side of a 2-1 score in mid-January in the teams’ last meeting at the South Okanagan Events Centre as Steve Holtz opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal before Tristan Amonte buried the game winning tally in the 2nd period. Yaniv Perets was outstanding in the Vees goal, making 29 saves on 30 shots for the win in between the pipes.

Vees Leading Scorers:

Jay O’Brien (22-36-58)

David Silye (19-37-56)

Lukas Sillinger (18-35-53)

Danny Weight (23-29-52)

Jackson Niedermayer (18-20-38)

Vees defender Conner Hutchison extended his point streak to a season-high six games on Wednesday night with an assist on the game-tying goal in the 2nd period. The Vermont University commit has registered a goal to go along with eight assists for nine points over the course of those six contests. The Hicksville, New York native ranks fourth in scoring amongst all blue liners with 38 points including placing in a tie for third in assists among defensemen with 33.

With assists in each of his last four games, forward Liam Malmquist has found himself on a four-game point streak entering play on Friday night. The Edina, Minnesota native has scored a goal while adding four assists for five points over that stretch, including a goal and an assist in last Saturday’s 7-1 victory over the Vernon Vipers. The Wisconsin University commit comes into the weekend ranking 8th amongst rookie point getters in the BC Hockey League with 36 points and sits in 8th as well in goal scoring with his 16 tallies.

The win on Wednesday night pushed the Vees to eight consecutive victories both overall and at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The win was also good for the Vees 39th of the regular season, two more than their total from a season ago with Penticton surpassing their goal total from the 2018/19 season with 204 goals in 52 games, ranking at the top of the league in that regard and are the only team to have eclipsed the 200+ goal total.

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks come into Friday night’s contest having won each of their last four games, including a 3-0 shutout victory over the Langley Rivermen at George Preston Arena on Tuesday night. William Poirier scored twice in the game, including the game’s winning goal in the 1st period on the power play, while Daniel Rybarik added a marker in the win. Ethan Langenegger stopped each of the 24 shots he faced in his 3rd shutout of the season and 21st win on the campaign.

Silverbacks Leading Scorers:
Akito Hirose (9-41-50)

Noah Wakeford (17-31-48)

Daniel Rybarik (28-16-44)

William Poirier (19-17-36)

Nick Unruh (11-25-36)

Points in five of his last six games has Silverbacks forward Daniel Rybarik third in scoring on his team with 44 points but leads Salmon Arm in goals this season, tallying 28 on the campaign. The University of Alaska-Anchorage commit has registered 4 goals and 3 assists for 7 points in those 6 contests while the Calgary, Alberta native has scored twice and added two assists for four points during a current three-game point streak. Rybarik comes into Friday night’s game sitting in 2nd in the BCHL with 28 goals on the season.

20-year-old William Poirier has found his scoring touch recently, helping the ‘Backs with four goals in his last three games, including his multi-goal effort in Tuesday night’s triumph over the Rivermen. The Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec native has tallied game winning goals in each of his last two games, sitting second on the team with 5 game winning markers on the season.

The Silverbacks have won each of their last four games after wins against the Mainland Division’s Surrey Eagles and Langley Rivermen while also collected two victories against the Merritt Centennials. Salmon Arm has outscored their opposition by a 17-7 margin over that span and have had plenty of success on their power play, going 8-for-22 during the course of their four-game winning streak. The Silverbacks have tallied at least two goals on the man advantage in each of their last four games.

The Vees and Silverbacks drop the puck on the finale of their six-game season series at 7:00 PM on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Tickets are available for purchase at the Valley First Box Office as well as online at ValleyFirstTix.com.