The BCHL unveiled its 2015-16 schedule and the Trail Smoke Eaters are hoping some key stretches at home might be the push it needs to make the playoffs.
Trail’s 58-game schedule kicks off Sept. 11 in Vernon with the Smokies’ home opener the next night, Sept. 12, when the Vernon Vipers return the visit.
Each team plays 58 games this season. With the Wenatchee Wild joining the BCHL, there are now 17 teams and there will be 493 total games on the 2015-16 calendar.
The Smokies will head south of the border for a regular-season game for the first time in franchise history on Nov. 27 when they face the Wild.
Wenatchee travels to Trail on Dec. 5.
The Smokies won 12 of its 19 games on home ice last season making November and February crucial home stretches for Trail’s fortunes in the coming season.
November begins with five of six games at the Cominco Arena before the club heads out on a five-game road trip.
February could prove even more pivotal as Trail plays six of its final nine games at home. The final game of the season will be a rematch of the season opener as Vernon comes to the Cominco Arena to wrap up the regular schedule.
While the majority of the team’s games are on the weekend, the Smokies have eight Tuesday night games, three at home and five on the road. Trail has three home games on Wednesdays and one on a Thursday.
The playoffs are scheduled to start on March 4, 2016.
The league is playing a full interlock schedule, meaning each team will host every other team and also visit every other team. This will be done once each with out-of-division teams while in-division rivals will meet multiple times home and away.