Every season brings high hopes and the Trail Smoke Eaters are reaching for new heights this year. After winning its two first games of the season at the Bauer-BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack last weekend

Interior division battle set for home-opener

Trail Smoke Eaters face off against the Penticton Vees tonight at the Cominco Arena

It may be early in the season, but the Trail Smoke Eaters will look to make a statement against division rivals this weekend, as they host the Penticton Vees for their home-opener tonight and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday at the Cominco Arena.

The Interior division dominated Mainland and Island division teams at the Bauer BCHL Showcase on the weekend, with the Smokies, the Vees, and the Silverbacks going into this weekend all undefeated.

“Salmon Arm, I was impressed, they have a lot of different elements, and they play the game hard so they’re going to be a good test,” said Smoke Eater coach and GM Nick Deschenes. “Penticton brings a younger, smaller team to the table, but they’re a team that is capable of breaking out offensively and capitalizing.”

The Vees rookie line of Tyson Jost, 16, Lewis Zerter-Gossage, 19, and Liam Finlay, 17, poured in 16 points in two games at the Showcase including hat tricks by Jost and Zerter-Gossage.

“It’s kind of crazy to think that all three are rookies,” Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson told the Penticton Western News. “The three of them don’t keep the puck on the stick very long. When it’s on it, they are moving it again, jumping into the holes.”

Jost was named BCHL Player of the Week on Tuesday, and the rookie line will have to be neutralized for the Smokies to be successful.

However, Trail also received outstanding performances from its own rookies with forward Charlie Zuccarini netting six points in an 8-3 win over Coquitlam, and Jeremy Lucchini and Connor Brown-Maloski named Fortis Energy Players of the Game in the two tilts. Veterans Craig Martin, Jake Lucchini, and Victor Dombrovskiy also starred in Chilliwack and solid goaltending from Adam Todd will again be key for the Smokies to defeat the Vees and Backs.

“I feel confident that if we put our best foot forward, we have a good chance here especially at home,” said Deschenes.

The Showcase enabled coaching staff to scout BCHL teams, and get an indication of what to expect going into the season, however, Deschenes views it a process where changes or adjustments are imminent.

“You have to look at the big picture; you could be successful now, but ignore some of the things we need to deal with, other team’s aren’t successful but they make those changes and they got the edge. It’s still very early.”

The Smoke Eaters are expected to have captain Scott Davidson, who was out with a concussion, in the lineup for tonight’s game.

Game time is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Just Posted

Warfield removes diseased trees

Dutch Elm disease is taking a toll on village trees

Trail Life Chain to be held Saturday

Annually, Life Chains are held in Canada and the U.S. with over 30,000 participants in Canada alone

Drug use a problem at Trail hockey games, warn RCMP

Police recommend changes to Trail Memorial Centre washrooms

Montrose moves to ban pot retail

Retail, production and distribution of non-medical cannabis sales prohibited under Montrose bylaw

Castlegar, Grand Forks areas to see cleaner winter roads under new contract

YRB set to take over 10-year maintenance contract on Monday

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read