Top teams visit Trail

It’s tough stuff, losing players to injuries as you head into the toughest 10 days of your schedule.

It’s tough stuff, losing players to injuries as you head into the toughest 10 days of your schedule, but the Smoke Eaters can be thankful for the timing.

The Smokies play the top two teams in the BCHL, according to the national rankings, in their next four games – the top team, Penticton Vees, in three of the four and the perennial national contender Vernon Vipers in the other.

A positive for the Smokies is that these tough contests will come against slightly-weakened opposition forces due to the World Junior A challenge currently taking place in the Fraser Valley.

Vernon has three players involved in that competition, and another, Adam Tambellini, on the Prospects’ roster for the weekend. Penticton had at least four players similarly out of its BCHL lineup, playing for Canada West and the U.S.A.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that the games tomorrow night and Saturday will be in any way easy, just that the Smoke Eaters have every chance to be competitive despite their current injury woes.

It will take, of course, 60 minutes of effort on behalf of whomever comprises Trail’s roster.

The team showed in their last home outing, against the same Vipers they play Saturday, that their best effort can be a formidable challenge for even the league’s top teams.

Unfortunately, that effort appeared for only the last two periods of that game.

Trail already has a win over Penticton and there is little reason to believe they can’t find a way to get at least another in the next few days.

*Readers will know I believe Remembrance Day to be among the most important, “holidays,” on the calendar.

So, here’s hoping the Beaver Valley ceremonies won’t be disrupted by people who don’t want to wait an hour or so before beginning their search for craft bargains in the neighbourhood of Fruitvale’s impressive new Cenotaph.

It doesn’t seem like much to ask for folks to wait until at least a few minutes after the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to begin using the, “holiday,” for other purposes than that for which is was originally earmarked.