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Vernon Vipers, Salmon Arm Silverbacks ready to renew BCHL playoff rivalry

Teams begin best-of-seven Interior Conference semifinal series Friday night in the Shuswap

Another chapter is about to be written in one of the biggest rivalries in the B.C. Hockey League.

The Vernon Vipers are set to face the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the second round of the BCHL playoffs.

Game 1 of the Interior Conference semifinal is in Salmon Arm at the Shaw Centre at 7 p.m. Friday, April 14.

It will be the first time the two teams meet in the playoffs since the 2018/19 postseason in which the Vipers conquered the Silverbacks in five games.

The Vipers are coming off a first-round victory over the West Kelowna Warriors. The Vipers dropped two of the first three games against West Kelowna before turning the tide and winning three straight to knock out the Warriors in six games.

Meanwhile, the Backs will be well rested at the start of this series after they completed a four-game sweep of the Prince George Spruce Kings in the first round.

Head to head in the regular season, the Vipers won the season series four games to three, despite being narrowly outscored by the Silverbacks 22 to 21 in those seven games.

Lee Parks is the Vipers’ leading scorer in the playoffs so far, with six goals and three assists for nine points in the six games against West Kelowna. Hank Cleaves is second in the team’s postseason scoring with six points in six games.

For the Backs, Nathan Mackie, Ethan Ullrick and Brandon Santa Juana lead the way in playoff scoring with five points apiece. Hayden Stravroff leads the team in playoff goals with three.

Here is the full schedule of games in this playoff series:

• Game 1: Friday, April 14 — Vernon at Salmon Arm, 7 p.m.

• Game 2: Saturday, April 15 — Vernon at Salmon Arm, 7 p.m.

• Game 3: Tuesday, April 18 — Salmon Arm at Vernon, 7 p.m.

• Game 4: Wednesday, April 19 — Salmon Arm at Vernon, 7 p.m.

• Game 5: Friday, April 21 — Vernon at Salmon Arm, 7 p.m.

• Game 6: Sunday, April 23 — Salmon Arm at Vernon, 6 p.m.

• Game 7: Tuesday, April 25 — Vernon at Salmon Arm, 6 p.m.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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