Trail Smoke Eaters: Favourable schedule for next season

The BCHL released its schedule for the 2013-14 season with a full 56 games on tap for the Trail Smoke Eaters.

The BCHL released its schedule for the 2013-14 season with a full 56 games on tap for the Trail Smoke Eaters.

The Smokies will play 28 home and 28 away games all starting with the Bauer BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack Sept. 6-8 where they face off against the Langley Rivermen and Cowichan Valley Capitals to start the season.

The Smokies home schedule breaks down into 15 Friday night games, seven Saturday, one Sunday, one Monday game during Christmas break, two Tuesday night matches, and two Wednesday nighters. With 23 weekend games scheduled, the Smokies president Tom Gawryletz was satisfied with the result.

“Everyone wants a better schedule,” said Gawryletz. “But we got probably as good as we can ask for.”

The Smokies then open the season at home with three straight games, starting with two back-to-back against Penticton Vees on Sept. 13-14 at the Cominco Arena. They host the Merritt Centennials Sept. 17, before traveling to Merritt and Prince George for tilts on Sept. 20-21.

The busiest month for the Smoke Eaters is October, with 11 games schedule including six road games, and the longest road trip of the season to play Powell River, Port Alberni, and Nanaimo.The Smokies enjoy their longest homestand in November hosting six games while playing just three on the road all month. In January, however, the opposite occurs and Trail will be logging lots of miles with three matches at home and seven away.

“We have our usual Island trips, and I think there is one stretch where we play five games in a row on the road, over 10 days or two weeks, but aside from that it’s all pretty balanced out and Bill (Birks, Smoke Eater coach) was happy with it, so we leave it up to the kids now.”

In December, the Smokies play five games in 10 days on the road, starting with trips to Penticton and Vernon, on the 11th and 13th, then a return swing to the Island for games against Victoria, 19th, Cowichan, 20th, and then Chilliwack on the 21st.

They will close out the season with a home-and-away series against the Warriors on Feb. 28 and Mar. 1