Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Salmon Arm/Penticton Preview

Salmon Arm won the season series against Penticton going 3-2-1 with all six games taking place in the team's first 34 and 36 contests respectively: September 23rd (6-5 SA), October 29th (4-2 Pen), November 16th & 19th (5-4 SA/2-1 Pen), and December 10th & 11th (2-2/5-4 SA). Five of the battles were one-goal games with the other contest being a two-goal spread. The Silverbacks went 2-1 at home and 1-1-1 on the road. Both teams scored 21 goals against each other with the Apes scoring first in five of the six games and outscoring the Vees 12-4 in the first period while Penticton responded outscoring their oppenent 10-4 in the second frame. The Peaches outshot Salmon Arm 34.2 to 29.5 on average and also won the special teams battle at 31.25% on the powerplay compared to the Silverbacks going 20% on the man-advantage. The Apes led for 2:50:02 while Penticton held a lead for 50:03 and the games were tied for 2:29:55. Both teams squandered a pair of leads that lead to two losses each during the season series.

Players-wise Bryce Gervais led the way for Salmon Arm with five goals and nine points, Josh Manson had eight points, Dave Killip posted six points, Brett Knowles played in five of the games and picked up five points, Jarryd Ten Vaanholt collected five points, Devin Muller posted four points in five games, Morgan Zulinick had a goal in only one contest played while Mike Hammond and Brad Reid did not face the Vees with their new team.

For Penticton Brendan O'Donnell led the way with nine points, Joey Laleggia had seven assists, Mark MacMillan & Joey Holka both collected six points in five games, Joey Benik posted six points, Steven Iacobellis had four points in four games, and Myles McCauley potted two goals in two contests.

In goal Kris Moore led the way for the Apes going 2-0-1 with a 3.47 goals against average and .904 save percentage. Billy Faust went 1-1 with a 2.92 and .904 for the Vees while Joel Rumpel went 1-2-1 with a 3.78 and .865. Kurt Williams meanwhile went 1-1 for SA with a 3.03 and .898 while Chase Martin started and finished one game as well.

During the regular season Salmon Arm finished with the third most goals and ninth fewest against in the BCHL while Penticton scored the seventh most and allowed the third fewest. Special teams wise the two teams are seperated by .06% on the powerplay and .7 on the penalty kill with the Silverbacks holding the slight edge in both categories finishing first and third respectively in the league. The Vees also gave up ten shorthanded goals against compared to the five surrendered by the Apes. Like the season series Salmon Arm's best period is their first outscoring their oppenent 82-47 while likewise the Vees best frame is the second outscoring the competetion 81-58. The Silverbacks scored first in 38 of their games while the Peaches did so in 27 of theirs. Salmon Arm features seven 20 goal scorers and 11 players in double-digits in ginos while the Vees boast four 20 goal marksmen and 10 players with double-digits in goals.

The Vees have the Interior Conference's MVP and league point-leading defenceman in Joey Laleggia who has 12 points on a seven-game point streaks while the Silverbacks have the Brett Hull Trophy winner and league point-leading player in Mike Hammond who has 14 points in his last seven contests. Brett Knowles has 16 points during an eight-game streak, Devin Gannon has 13 points in a seven-game streak, Morgan Zulinick & Dave Killip are on four-game streaks, Devin Muller has 13 points in his last 14 games, Paul de Jersey has 13 points in his last 15 contests, and Jayson Reardon has 27 points in his last 30 games. Meanwhile O'Donnell & Benik are on four-game streaks, James Polk has six points in his last seven games, and Curtis Loik has eight points in his last ten games.

Specials teams should be even, goaltending should be even, the teams top players should cancel each other out, and what this series should come down to is whose third and fourth line players score the most. Guys like Gervais, Ten Vaanholt, de Jersey, Muller, and Cody Michelle for Salmon Arm and Logan Johnston, James Polk, Kyle Mountain, Curtis Loik, and Cater Rigby for Penticton.

These two franchises have met twice before in the playoffs back in 2006-2007 when the Vees swept the Silverbacks in the second round, and in 2005-2006 when Penticton beat Salmon Arm in five games in the Interior Conference Finals.

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