Salmon Arm Silverbacks
When it comes to minor hockey in North America, there are many teams that have captured the hearts of fans and forged their place in history. One such team is the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, a Junior A ice hockey team based in Salmon Arm, British Columbia. Since their inception in 2001, the Silverbacks have established themselves as a formidable force in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and have won the hearts of fans not only in Salmon Arm, but also across Canada and the United States.
From nail-biting games to intense rivalries, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks have had their fair share of memorable match-ups. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and revisit the most important and iconic rivalries in the history of the Silverbacks.
The Origin of the Rivalries
In the BCHL, one of the most fiercely contested rivalries is between the Silverbacks and the Vernon Vipers. These two teams, both founded in 2001, share a geographical proximity and have been playing against each other since the beginning of the Silverbacks’ journey in the league. The rivalry between the Silverbacks and the Vipers can be traced back to 2003, when the two teams competed in the BCHL Final, with the Vipers emerging as the victors.
This first taste of defeat against their rival lit a fire in the Silverbacks, paving the way for a long-standing rivalry between the two teams. Over the years, the Silverbacks have faced the Vipers numerous times, whether in the regular season or in the playoffs, each match-up proving to be a battle on the ice. With both teams boasting a strong fan base, games between the Silverbacks and Vipers are always packed with energy and passion.
A Clash of Titans: The Silverbacks vs. The Penticton Vees
Another notable rivalry in the history of the Silverbacks is with the Penticton Vees, a Junior A ice hockey team from Penticton, British Columbia. This well-established rivalry is a result of both teams being members of the Interior Division of the BCHL, and the fact that they have both been dominant forces in the league over the years.
The rivalry between the Silverbacks and the Vees reached its peak in the 2011-2012 season, when the two teams met in the Western Conference Final. The Vees had a strong team that year, with players like Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro, who would go on to play in the National Hockey League (NHL). However, the Silverbacks, led by captain Bryce Gervais, refused to back down and pushed the series to seven games. In the end, it was the Vees who emerged victorious, but not without a valiant effort from the Silverbacks.
A Battle for Supremacy: The Silverbacks vs. The West Kelowna Warriors
The rivalry between the Silverbacks and the West Kelowna Warriors, who were formerly known as the Westside Warriors, is another long-standing and intense one. The two teams have been competing in the BCHL since 2006 and have faced each other numerous times in both the regular season and playoffs.
One of the most memorable match-ups between the Silverbacks and the Warriors was in the 2014-2015 season, when the two teams met in the Interior Division Finals. The series was closely contested, with both teams showcasing their skills and determination, but it was the Silverbacks who ultimately emerged victorious in six games.
From then on, the rivalry between the Silverbacks and the Warriors only intensified, with passionate fans on both sides fueling the fire on the ice. Every game between these two teams is a battle for supremacy and the bragging rights that come with being the better team.
A New Rivalry on the Horizon: The Silverbacks vs. The Cranbrook Bucks
With the recent addition of the Cranbrook Bucks to the BCHL, a new rivalry has emerged for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Silverbacks and the Bucks, who will both compete in the Interior Division, have yet to face each other in a game, but the anticipation for their future match-ups is high.
This new rivalry holds a lot of potential, as both teams will have the opportunity to establish themselves as the dominant team in their division. The proximity of Cranbrook to Salmon Arm also adds a level of excitement and intensity to the budding rivalry. It will be interesting to see how the Silverbacks and the Bucks measure up against each other once they hit the ice.
The core message
The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have had their share of tough rivals over the years, each match-up adding to the rich history and legacy of the team. From the intense battles with teams like the Vernon Vipers and the Penticton Vees, to the long-standing rivalry with the West Kelowna Warriors, the Silverbacks have faced their challengers with unbreakable determination and passion.
As the Silverbacks look to the future and continue to make their mark in the BCHL, there is no doubt that there will be more iconic match-ups and rivalries to come. For fans of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and minor hockey enthusiasts everywhere, these match-ups are what make the sport so thrilling and unforgettable.