More than a dozen freshly shaved Trail Smoke Eaters and coaches teamed up with the Canadian Cancer Society for it’s annual Growvember Campaign. The Smokies will wear yellow arm bands at tonight’s game and invite fans to wear yellow to show their support in fighting cancer. Funds raised from the under-12 toonie admission and puck toss will go to the Canadian Cancer Society.

More than a dozen freshly shaved Trail Smoke Eaters and coaches teamed up with the Canadian Cancer Society for it’s annual Growvember Campaign. The Smokies will wear yellow arm bands at tonight’s game and invite fans to wear yellow to show their support in fighting cancer. Funds raised from the under-12 toonie admission and puck toss will go to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Smokies set out to sink Clippers

The puck drops tonight at 7:30.

The Trail Smoke Eaters hope to give the Nanaimo Clippers a rude welcoming when the BCHL’s Island division team docks their ship at the Cominco Arena tonight.

The Clippers are 11-7-0-0 this season and sit in second place, a point behind the Cowichan Valley Capitals in Island division hierarchy.

“Their 20-year-olds are definitely a strong group and I think they’ve added some pretty good pieces,” said Trail coach and GM Nick Deschenes. “They’ve been kind of hot and cold but they’re slowly separating themselves from that pack.”

Nanaimo is coming off a split with Alberni Valley last weekend, and their stop in Trail is the first of a three-game road swing through the Interior division, as they’ll face Penticton Vees on Saturday and West Kelowna Warriors on Sunday.

“It’s tough,”  Clippers goalie, Jonathan Reinhart told the Nanaimo News Bulletin. “It’s long bus rides and you’re not in your normal environment; it makes it difficult. But we kind of just have to bear down and, if we have to, grind out three games.”

Reinhart has seen the majority of the action for the Clips, registering nine wins in 13 starts, a 2.61 goals against average, and a .915 save percentage.

Trail’s offensive output, meanwhile, has been inconsistent this season. The Smoke Eaters have scored five or more goals five times, while scoring two or less in eight matches. The Smokies struck for 10 goals in two games against Merritt two weeks ago, but most recently tallied just three goals on 91 shots in a pair of losses against Vernon and Penticton last weekend.

“It is frustrating,” said Smokies assistant captain Kurt Black. “I think we need to come together as a team and try to figure this out, but we do have a good team here for sure.”

Trail has four very capable lines, and scoring production is spread relatively evenly throughout with seven players in double digits. Trail’s top scorer, Nick Halloran, has seven goals and 17 points, compared to Sheldon Rempal for Nanaimo with 16 goals and 36 points. However, much of the Clippers’ offensive production comes from one basket. Nanaimo has just four skaters with double-digit points, although, three of those players are in the top-10 in league scoring.  Clarkson commit Rempal, former OHLer Matt Hoover (15-11-26), and Quebec native Devin Brosseau (7-17-24) have combined for 38 goals in 18 games, for over half the team’s total output of 71.

“I think they are a team we can take advantage of,” said Black. “They have a good first line but if we limit that, I think we have a good chance. Use our speed, get shots on net, and just bear down.”

The Clippers have scored 20 more goals than the Smokies this year, albeit in an arguably weaker division. Still, Trail will have to find a way to improve their goal-to-shot ratio if they hope to vie for a playoff spot in March.

“We just have to get shots through from the point, and bearing down on our chances in front would be big,” said Black. “I think we all have talent, we just have to bring it every game.”

Black, a 20-year-old, three-year BCHL veteran, has stepped up as one of the leaders on the Smokies since coming over from the Chilliwack Chiefs this summer as the last piece of the Scott Davidson trade. Black had a great start with the Smokies, netting seven points in four games, and after an eight game pointless streak, he is back on track with four points in his last five matches.  The Winfield native also played for the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in 2012-13 and is happy to be back in Greater Trail.

“I had a good experience in Junior B, so it’s good to be back in Trail, the fans, I love it here and it’s a good hockey town.”

The Smoke Eaters will hit the road for a Saturday night tilt in Merritt to play the Centennials. The Smokies have taken 2-of-3 from the Cents this year, including a 5-4 victory the last time they met in Merritt, in which the Smokies were down 4-1 in the third period, but made a dramatic comeback to win it in overtime.

The game is in ‘must win’ territory for a Smoke Eater team that trails Merritt by one point in the Interior division standings, and is seven back of Vernon for the final playoff spot.

“We think we have a group here, based on what we’ve seen in our division, that can be competitive and can fight for a playoff spot,” said Deshenes. “Every game we play, we have to try to come up with two points, it doesn’t matter who we are playing.”

Smoke signals: Show your support in fighting cancer by wearing yellow to tonight’s game and help the Smokies raise funds by donating to the Smokies Growvember campaign. Go to convio.cancer.ca/goto/trailsmokeeaters2015. Fans 12-and-under get in for a toonie, with proceeds going to the  Cancer Society.

Just Posted

A cougar, or cougars, went on a killing rampage at a small Fruitvale farm. Photo: Thomas S. on Unsplash
Cougar euthanized after taking out small animal farm in Fruitvale

Wildlife interactions, poachers or polluters should be reported to RAPP at 1.877.952.7277

The Trail Smoke Eaters will open the 2021 season on Oct. 8 against the Cranbrook Bucks in Cranbrook, and will have their home opener the next night against the same Bucks. Photo: Jack Murray
BC Hockey League announces 54-game schedule to begin in October

Trail Smoke Eaters open season with home-and-home series versus Cranbrook Bucks

“The Spirit of Family” enhances the Beaver Valley both in the daytime and at night. Photo: Submitted
Family sculpture installed at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall

Locals are encouraged to swing by Fruitvale Memorial Hall to take a… Continue reading

In 1927, swimmers enjoyed a day in the water at the CGIT and CSET Camp in Summerland. While none of the people in this photograph have smart phones, there is some debate about whether a beach image from the United Kingdom in 1943 shows a man using a smart phone. (Photograph courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
COLUMN: The mystery of the time-travelling tourist

Was the man in a 1943 photograph checking his smart phone?

The flotation line at Gyro Park beach in East Trail, shown here during low water, is for emergency purposes only and does not delineate a safe swimming area. Photo: Trail Times file
City of Trail cautions beach users

Gyro Park beach questions should be directed to the roads superintendent at 250.364.0817.

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read