The Cents are coming off their most successful week in the 2017-18 season. They not only got their first win of the season, they converted on their first powerplay of the season, multiple players got their first goals in the BCHL, and now they are on their first win streak of the season and look to stay hot against the Silver backs.
The Silverbacks started the season off in a very similar fashion to the Cents, losing four straight games before finding the win column at the BCHL Showcase. They rallied off 3 games in a row against Cowichan Valley, Surrey, and Coquitlam before coming back to earth against Trail last week. Both teams have the same 3-2 record over the last 5 games.
The teams split the preseason series 1-1 with Merritt winning the opener 7-4 before falling to the Silverbacks away from the Nicola Valley. Last season the Silverbacks had the edge head to head, as they went 4-3 against the Cents, but 5 of those games were decided by one goal so expect a tight matchup.
On paper, the teams look pretty close. Both with 3 wins, the Cents with one more game, and one more loss on the year, but with a win could leap frog the Silverbacks. Both teams have scored 26 goals this season, but it’s the Centennials who have the better team defense allowing 8 fewer goals than Salmon Arm. The Silverbacks hold the edge on the Powerplay with a 22% conversion rate, while the Cents are converting on 15.9% of their chances. On the penalty kill, the Cents have the edge with a 79.6% killing rate, while the Silverbacks are at 74.4%. The Cents also have 2 shorthanded goals to their credit while Salmon Arm doesn’t have any. And Finally, Both teams haven’t won a game against the Interior Division this season, so that will be a stat that ends tonight for one team.
Head Coach Joe Martin says that he also has noticed the similarities between the teams.
“Salmon Arm had a similar start to us, they found the win column a bit quicker than we did so they’re riding a momentum swing like we are, so it will be a good game.”
The Cents will look to keep the good times rolling before the Thanksgiving weekend, and continue their winning streak as they visit Salmon Arm tonight. Join Jared Thomas for Puck Drop at 7, Pre Game at 6:45 On Air at 101.1 FM, online at q101.ca, or on the Q101 Merritt App.