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A ‘Backs Rematch

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Chilliwack Chiefs (27-14-1-1 – 56 points, 2nd in Mainland)

VS Salmon Arm Silverbacks (19-18-2-4 – 44 points, 4th in Interior)

(Shaw Centre  –  6:30 pregame/7pm faceoff on 89.5 The Hawk)

It’s pretty simple, really.

The Chiefs know they need to be better. It’s for the best, perhaps, that they can be better against the team they came out so flat against less than a week ago.

Prince George did the Chiefs a favour on Thursday night, beating the Surrey Eagles, which keeps Chilliwack within three points of the Mainland division lead. The Spruce Kings however, are now just six back of Chilliwack after the Chiefs dropped those two games at home last weekend. Points and wins will serve them well this weekend in Salmon Arm, and West Kelowna, obviously.

Luke Esposito is second in the BCHL in scoring going into the weekend (59)

Luke Esposito is second in the BCHL in scoring going into the weekend (59)

David Thompson still has one game to serve following the hit on Surrey’s Brady Shaw last week, so the D-core will miss it’s leader and Captain. Josh Halpenny was left hung out to dry a few times against a hungrier Silverback team last week, so that must improve for the boys to get back in the W column.

That proverbial ‘energy’ has been missing since the 2nd intermission of the Surrey game one week ago. The team practiced (ahem) skated pretty hard this past week. I’m certain they don’t want another few days of that, so I suspect the energy will be there for this one, and again against West-K.

I like Chilliwack’s chances if they play with the fire that we saw for the first forty minutes against Surrey. Salmon Arm is sitting in a playoff spot right now because of the way they play. They don’t have a ton of skill. They don’t have a couple point producers that can overwhelm you – but they will outwork you. Chilliwack has to match that.

Esposito's linemate Austin Plevy is right behind him in 3rd. (58 points)

Esposito’s linemate Austin Plevy is right behind him in 3rd. (58 points)

The boys may get a bit of a boost this weekend as well. There’s a fan bus going on this trip to both games.  The players have talked about the energy that can provide, so it might be a factor on Friday night.

Let’s hope it is. It’s one thing to be outplayed. It’s another thing to not have the energy, or the effort level.

That’s what the Chiefs need Friday. Let’s hope they bring it.

Special Teams:

Chilliwack – Powerplay – 21.46 % (4th) /Penalty Kill – 85.19% – (2nd)

Salmon Arm – Powerplay – 18.60 % (9th) / Penalty Kill – 82.61% – (4th)

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Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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