GTMHA Midget Smokies host annual tournament

Trail Midget Smokies tournament drops the puck at the Cominco Arena at 11:45 a.m. on Friday.

The Greater Trail Minor Hockey Association hosts its annual Midget Rep Tournament this weekend in Trail and Rossland.

A total of eight teams will compete for the 2019 tournament title with host Midget Rep Trail Tier 2 Smokies playing in Pool A against the Hyland Hills Jaguars, the Vernon Vipers and Creston Chiefs.

Pool B will be comprised of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, West Kootenay Rapids, Clearwater Ice Hawks, and the Cranbrook Key City Lightning.

Last year the Winfield Bruins captured the title after going through the preliminary round with just one win and two losses, while the Trail Midget Smokies went undefeated with two wins and a tie. However, Trail missed a berth to the final after a tough 3-2 loss to Trails West Wolves out of Calgary in the semifinal match.

The Bruins beat the Wolves in a close 7-6 final. Neither the Bruins or the Wolves are back this year, but some new talent will fill out the eight-team tournament that starts on Friday, including the Hyland Hills Jaguars all the way from Westminster, Colorado.

This year’s Midget Smokies play in the Okanagan Mainland Minor Hockey Association and the West Kootenay Hockey Association and have a respectable 10-8-4 record so far this season. The Smokies are coming off a successful tournament in Vernon Dec. 14-16, winning silver in the Midget Vipers tournament.

The Smokies open their tournament at 11:45 a.m. Friday morning against Hyland Hills at the Cominco Arena. Their next game goes on Saturday when they face the Creston Chiefs at 10:15 a.m. in Rossland, then wrap up the preliminary play with a 4:30 p.m. match up against the Vernon Vipers at the Cominco Arena.

The top two seeds from each pool play off at 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning in Rossland and Trail. The winners meet in the final at noon at the Cominco Arena.

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