Trail Smoke Eaters face off against Penticton Vees Wednesday night

The Trail Smoke Eaters will try to catch the league-leading Penticton Vees in a home-and-home series

The Trail Smoke Eaters will look to move within four points of first-place Penticton, when they host the Vees tonight at the Cominco Arena.

The 30-14-4-1 Smokies play a a home-and-home against its most bitter rival and look to even the season record tonight, as the 33-10-2-3 Vees hold a 2-1-0-1 advantage over Trail this season.

“We have a different preparation against Pen,” said Trail coach and GM Cam Keith. “We try to play them like we’re in an underdog-type situation, and going into Pen we need to play a simple, quiet, humble game where we don’t try to go chance-for-chance.”

The teams’ last two games went to overtime, with Penticton beating the Smokies 3-2 on Jan. 20, after playing to a 2-2 tie in their previous match, Jan. 12.

The Vees have been on a roll, defeating Salmon Arm 5-1 on Saturday to climb into first place overall thanks to an 11-1-0-1 record in the new year. Penticton boasts a fast and potent attack with quick transitions, and is led by leading scorer and Bemidji State commit Owen Sillinger with 26 goals and 46 points, mobile d-man Jonny Tychonick with eight goals and 38 points, and Taylor Ward with 16-17-33 in 36 games.

Wednesday will be the fifth meeting of the year between the two teams, with Trail beating the Vees in their opening match 4-1 in Trail, before falling 2-1 in Game 2.

The Smoke Eaters are on a four-game winning streak, with the line of Ross Armour (20-38-58), Kale Howarth (24-33-57), and Levi Glasman (20-27-47) leading the way. However, Tyler Ghirardosi and Andre Ghantous have found some chemistry of late, combining for seven goals and five assists for 12 points over those four wins.

Trail will travel to Penticton on Friday to complete the season-series, and return home to face the surging Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday.

“They (Penticton) are very skilled, and especially in their rink, it feels like we’re skating in quicksand sometimes,” said Keith. “We just have to keep it really simple, play below the dots, a ground ‘em out kind of style.”

The puck drop for the Trail-Penticton game goes tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. at the Cominco Arena.

Smoke Signals: Smokies forward Tyler Ghirardosi earned honourable mention in Player of the Week selection with two game-winning goals, an assist, and two second-star nods.

The Smoke Eaters forward Ryan Murphy was handed a two-game suspension for a hit from behind in Friday’s 8-1 win over the Langley Rivermen.

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