Teams offer lots of home-town hockey on the horizon

The Nitehawks steamroller squashed Spokane to get back on track, and the struggling Smoke Eaters got their first point since November

Interesting start to the year in local hockey. The Nitehawks steamroller, which hit the ditch over the holidays, squashed Spokane to get back on track, and the struggling Smoke Eaters got their first point since November, in a game they had a lot of opportunity to win – all in the first week of 2012.

Both teams play at home again this weekend and next, so fans have a choice about which Home of Champions organization to support.

If you are an actual diehard for local hockey, the schedule allows you to get in six of the next eight home games for the two local clubs.

Even if you mostly just say you are a hockey fan, there are two dates coming up that should intrigue you.

A week Saturday, the Castlegar Rebels will be in Fruitvale. The Nitehawks have dominated almost everybody else, but the Rebels have beaten them three times already this season, including two straight to end 2011, and this game could go a long way towards deciding who wins the Neil Murdoch division of the KIJHL.

Nitehawks fans should know, too, that the Rebels bring a fair number of supporters with them to Beaver Valley. That means the Nitehawks’ fans could get out-shouted by visitors unless the valley provides a good turnout.

And why wouldn’t you go? Beaver Valley has a strong local load on their roster and have always provided great entertainment value. So go.

Then on Wednesday, the 18th, Trail gets another crack at Salmon Arm, a team they probably should have beaten two days ago, and fans can have a rare hopeful 2011-12 moment entering Cominco Arena.

We already knew this was going to be a long season for the Smokies. The team was undertalented at the start, and had injuries that didn’t help.

But, changes have been made. Trail is younger – and the roster is healthier – to start the new year. It was evident Wednesday that the current squad should be able to play well with at least the bottom tier of the Interior Division, on a talent basis, anyway.

All the change, of course, means the Smokies look a little, or a lot, disjointed in their team play at times. The coaching staff needs to formulate, sooner rather than later, at least a couple of set lines focusing on offence, and find defensive pairings that can become accustomed to each other.

Of course, we are already in, “next year country,” but that should begin right now given the relative youth of the lineup. Getting players comfortable and confident with each other could well lead to them being disposed to return to the squad, even after a down year.

Trail’s opponent tomorrow has a relatively high-powered offence, but surrenders a lot of scoring as well, so, if you go, there is the chance of a barn burner. So go.

– It must be so hard to play for Team Canada at the juniors, knowing, as the players do, that anything but a gold medal is considered a total disaster in this country. Knowing, too, as they do, that most of them won’t get another kick at the can.

They did make that third period of the semi-final breathtaking, however. Too bad so many people tuned it out early.

 

 

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read