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GAME PREVIEW: Smoke Eaters Conclude Weekend Set Against ‘Backs On Saturday

PHOTO: Mike Hockley

The Trail Smoke Eaters look to rebound in the win column as they conclude their weekend doubleheader with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday night at the Trail Memorial Centre.

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Smoke Eaters vs. Silverbacks 2018/19 Regular Season Schedule:

Friday, September 14th @ Trail Memorial Centre (6-3 Smoke Eaters) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, October 27th @ Shaw Centre (4-2 Silverbacks) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, January 25th @ Shaw Centre (3-2 Silverbacks/OT) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, January 26th @ Shaw Centre (5-4 Smoke Eaters) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, February 8th @ Trail Memorial Centre (3-2 Silverbacks) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, February 9th @ Trail Memorial Centre (7:00 PM)

The Smoke Eaters and Silverbacks play in the sixth and final game of their season series with Salmon Arm coming away victorious on Friday night by a 3-2 score at the Trail Memorial Centre. Tyler Ghirardosi tipped in a power play goal in the 2nd period while Hayden Rowan found the back of the net in the 3rd frame. Adam Marcoux stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced in the game in his 22nd loss of the season.

Smoke Eaters Leading Scorers:

Chase Stevenson (18-28-46)

Carter Jones (13-31-44)

Trevor Zins (11-29-40)

Kent Johnson (17-22-39)

Braeden Tuck (11-23-34)

The penalty kill has gotten stronger as the season has gone along for the Smoke Eaters and the last six games has seen a big rise in that percentage and could play a big factor into Saturday’s game against the Silverbacks. Trail has gone 15-for-18 over their last six contests, good for an 83.3% clip, along with a 3-for-3 performance on Friday night. Trail has now killed off every penalty in the last three games, going 8-for-8 over that span.

Smoke Eaters forward Hayden Rowan has relished playing the Smoke Eaters divisional rival from the Shuswap as the Pemberville, Ohio native has scored in three of the four games he has played against the ‘Backs this season. The Yale University commit has scored three goals in his last six games and his 16 goals this season sits him 3rd in team goal scoring behind Chase Stevenson (18) and Kent Johnson (17).

Quinnipiac University committed Tyler Ghirardosi carries a four-game point streak into Saturday night’s contest against the Silverbacks. The Montrose, BC native has earned two goals and two assists for four points over that span and has been trouble for Salmon Arm, scoring twice in the last two games against the ‘Backs including a power play goal on Friday night that opened the scoring for the Smoke Eaters in the 2nd period.

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks come into Saturday night’s matchup with a 26-20-4-1 record and sit in 4th place in the Interior Division after their 3-2 victory over the Smoke Eaters on Friday night at the Trail Memorial Centre. Affiliate player Nikolas Sombrowski scored his first career BC Hockey League goal while Trevor Adams and Matthew Verboon also tallied in the win. Ethan Langenegger turned aside 30 of the 32 shots he faced in the game in his 17th win of the season.

Silverbacks Leading Scorers:

Matthew Verboon (23-25-48)

Justin Wilson (20-19-39)

Trevor Adams (17-22-39)

Nick Unruh (19-15-34)

Noah Wakeford (8-24-32)

Lengthy point streaks continued for the Silverbacks heading into Saturday night as 16-year-old forward John Little has racked up an impressive stretch of 14 consecutive games with at least a point. The Parksville, BC native has earned 7 goals and 10 assists for 17 points in that stretch including goals in three of his last five games. Little comes in with the second longest point streak in the BCHL this season and has registered 17 of his 23 points over the last 14 games.

Another Silverback who saw his point streak continue on Friday night was leading scorer Matthew Verboon, who has points in 12 straight contests, The Colgate University commit has scored 10 goals while adding 9 assists for 19 points during that span with 6 of those games being multi-point affairs. The Richmond Hill, Ontario native leads the Silverbacks in goals, assists, points and power play goals and is an always dangerous presence to watch on the ice.

The Silverbacks come into Saturday night looking for their third straight victory on the road, which would be a season-high. Salmon Arm has outscored their opposition by a 9-5 margin in their last pair of road games after a 6-3 victory over the West Kelowna Warriors on February 2nd before last night’s 3-2 win. Nick Unruh has been a big part of those wins, earning a goal and two assists for three points in that span and has points in five of his last six contests.

The Smoke Eaters and Silverbacks drop the puck on the final of their season series on Saturday night at 7:00 PM from the Trail Memorial Centre. Tickets are available for purchase at the Smoke Eaters Main Office as well as at the door ahead of the opening face-off.