‘Backs vs. Vipers

Tonight – Salmon Arm Silverbacks (10-7-1-0) at Vernon Vipers (7-5-4-1)
7 p.m. at Kal Tire Place in Vernon
Presented by the BCIHL

TICKETS
WATCH LIVE ON HOCKEYTV

Previous Meetings

Nick Unruh had a pair of goals and Hudson Schandor scored three minutes into the extra frame as the Silverbacks beat the Vipers 4-3 in overtime on Oct. 21. Vernon jumped out to a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from Alex Swetlikoff and Connor Marritt, but Trevor Adams replied for Salmon Arm before the intermission. Ben Helgeson put the Vipers up 3-1, but Unruh replied with one in the second and another with less than five minutes left in the third to force overtime. Silverbacks goalie Ethan Langenegger stopped 24 of 27 shots to earn the win.

Who’s Hot

Vernon’s Jagger Williamson has points in five straight games, piling up five goals and five assists over that stretch. His 11 points in 12 games this season are second-most on the team. Defenceman Jack Judson leads the Vipers in scoring with 14 points (3-11-14) and is tied for fifth in scoring among all BCHL defencemen. Vernon goalie Aidan Porter is tied for the ninth-best goals-against average in the league 2.69 and has a save percentage of .905 with two shutouts.

Salmon Arm forward Hudson Schandor has a point in four straight games. He’s tied for second in team scoring with 13 points along with Trevor Adams, Noah Wakeford and Akito Hirose. Matthew Verboon is the top scorer on the Silverbacks with 15 points (7-8-15) in 18 games. Salmon Arm goalie Ethan Langenegger has a record of 7-7-0 and is tied for ninth in the league with a .915 save percentage and has a 2.97 goals-against average.

What’s at Stake

Salmon Arm is tied with the West Kelowna Warriors for second place in the crowded Interior Division with 21 points. They are three back of the division-leading Merritt Centennials with two games in hand and are one point up on the Penticton Vees and the Wenatchee Wild.

Vernon is alone in sixth place with 19 points. They’re one up on the seventh-place Trail Smoke Eaters and only two points out of second.

From the broadcast booth:

Salmon Arm Silverbacks play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Lepper on goaltender Ethan Langenegger:

“18 games into the season, I would have to say he is an early front runner for team MVP. He has kept the team in every game he’s played and, just this weekend, made a number of highlight-reel saves.”

Lepper on the Silverbacks 4-3 OT win over the Vipers on Oct. 21:

“The Silverbacks were extremely resilient in the first game between the teams. Nick Unruh led the attack that night scoring the second and third goals of the game. It was a tight game and, with the chances Vernon had in the game, I would have to imagine they felt they missed out on what should have been two points.”

Lepper on the Silverbacks success so far this year, despite not having anyone in the top-40 in BCHL scoring:

“It has been a scoring-by-committee group this season for a very young forward core. Goaltender Ethan Langenegger has kept this team in so many games. The team has scored just 14 goals in 18 first periods this year, so Langenegger has had to be good in order to prevent them from getting down early. On defence, they have a relatively older group and I think that helps give them and their goalie a sense of calm on the ice. There is a good mix of gritty and skilled players on the back which gives the coaches a number of options to work with.”

Vernon Vipers play-by-play broadcaster Graham Turnbull on the Vipers strong defensive play so far this year:

“Head coach Mark Ferner’s teams have been notoriously stingy in previous years. They generally have a higher time of possession than the other team, the forwards are defensively responsible, the defenders have to move the puck quickly and they have good goaltending. When these things are applied, the goals against slow immensely and this has been a constant trend with the Vipers over the last handful of seasons.”

Turnbull on the Vipers slow start offensively:

“Health has been a big factor. This team has yet to ice its complete roster all year. When they have had good looks, they’ve tried to be too precise which causes them to miss the net. Also, this is a group that features rookies who are still learning the ropes at this level. The big focus has been to make the goalie make a save. When they put a strong focus on that, the pucks will start going in.”

Turnbull on tonight’s matchup against Interior Division rival Salmon Arm:

“Whether it’s September or February, division games are crucial. The Vipers have done a nice job of getting points, even in losing efforts, which has been important early on. With how tight the division is right now, every win is important, especially at home. These teams played 10 days ago and it was a feisty affair. That bodes well for the fans on Halloween.”

ABOUT THE BCIHL

The British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League was created with the purpose of offering a venue for competitive, high-calibre hockey that’s close to home for players beyond their junior careers. The league was launched in 2006 and now includes five member teams: Selkirk College, Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University, the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University. This season, 25 graduates with over 2750 games of BCHL experience are pursuing their academic and athletic goals in the BCIHL. To learn more about the BCIHL and playing opportunities for BCHL grads, visit BCIHL.ca.