Smokies look forward to break

The Trail Smoke Eaters are hoping Santa brings them a few more wins in the New Year.

With just over half the season gone and heading into the Christmas break, the Trail Smoke Eaters are hoping Santa brings them a few more wins in the New Year.

The Smokies suffered a 10-1 thumping at the hands of the Vernon Vipers Friday and a 5-0 shut out loss to Nanaimo Clippers at home on Saturday.

Dan Correale broke a 0-0 deadlock early in the second period to put Nanaimo in the lead to stay. The 20 year-old got the short-handed marker when he darted into the Smokies end and buried a snap shot from the top of the circle past Smokies goalie Lynden Stanwood.

Ryan Wells scored on a wrap-around later in the frame, with Mike Sones adding another in the third to go along with a pair of power-play goals from Andrew Gladiuk.

The Clippers caught the Smoke Eaters defence napping with long stretch passes that accounted for two of their markers.

The 12-day break should be a welcome respite for a team that has been plagued with injuries.

The Smoke Eaters had five skaters out with injuries on Saturday and inserted Beaver Valley Nitehawk AP Craig Martin into the lineup.

Martin played well matched with Garrett McMullen and Connor Tiechko and while they didn’t score, they created opportunities and were the most effective Smokies line.

The Smokies fired 23 shots at Nanaimo’s Billy Faust while Stanwood stopped 32 of 37 shots.

The Smokies next home game is Jan. 4 against Salmon Arm.