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

Stolen sax, sheet music, impacts Trail big-band and after school band

Anyone with information is urged to call the Trail RCMP detachment at 250.364.2566

Extensive road repair nears completion in Fruitvale

The scope of work includes new water and sewer service connections as well as road resurfacing

Community invited to check out mining trade show in Trail

Trade show free and open public on Wednesday and Thursday in the Trail Memorial Centre

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Christmas blooms in downtown Trail

The Artisan Craft Co-op recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in downtown Trail

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read