Sports ‘n’ Things: Big win shows Smokie Pride

" is still worthwhile to turn out to watch the Smoke Eaters - they provide excellent entertainment value most nights."

Minor sports (yes, junior hockey qualifies) can be confounding.

This past weekend I attended games at the Hawks’ Nest and Smokies’ Station ( I know, lame, but someone should do better for the Smoke Eaters, because, “Hawks’ Nest,” is a cool home ice designation).

I am proud of Cominco Arena and all the Memorial Center represents around here, but a nickname on behalf of another local icon would not change that. It may be too late to matter, but maybe the Smokies Booster Club should run a contest that would engage creative types, especially kids.

Back to being confounded. Teams in both arenas grabbed two-goal leads. One of those teams was playing the top team in its division and could comfortably have been expected to cough that lead up. One of those teams was the top team in the league and had only once all season, with a lot of its stars missing, lost a game in which it had a two-score advantage.

Surprise, surprise, the third place squad, the Spokane Braves held on to close out the win despite being dominated in every statistic by the top place club, Beaver Valley. And the bottom place team, the Smoke Eaters, made a charge and knocked off the first place team, the Penticton Vees.

Neither result means much in the overall picture, but one could see on the faces of fans the emotional impact of the results. In Beaver Valley, heads were shaking and worried frowns about coming playoff action appeared. In Trail, the crowd was smiling and cheering despite the fact no playoff games will appear in Cominco Arena this year, again.

Confounding, yes, and that is why it is still worthwhile to turn out to watch the Smoke Eaters – they provide excellent entertainment value most nights. This time of year, of course, serious fans also look forward to guaging the talent which might crack next season’s roster.

Many local fans have staunchly felt that the Smokies, at full strength, could compete with any team in the league – despite the standings. Saturday’s game featured an under strength squad missing its top scorer and both regular netminders, but somehow that roster got the job done against a nationally ranked perennial power. Lots of, “what ifs?” around the town about now.

Confounding, even frustrating, given the way the season has transpired, but for a few minutes there it was a lot of fun. Sports are supposed to be about that, aren’t they?

That same Trail roster, again it is confounding, got down 3-0 after 12 minutes, despite holding every statistical advantage, but could not come all the way back against Merritt.

Six more home games left, beginning tonight.

The Nitehawks have just one more regular season tilt in the Hawks’ Nest, on Friday 13th, no less. Beaver Valley has playoff passes on sale, however.



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