Trail Smoke Eaters: Lucchini nets PoW

Jake Lucchini was named the BCHL Player of the Week on Tuesday, while teammate Charlie Zuccarini was given honourable mention.

Trail Smoke Eaters forward Jake Lucchini was named the BCHL Player of the Week on Tuesday, while teammate Charlie Zuccarini was given honourable mention, as the Smokies took four-of-six points on a long three-games-in-three-days road trip over the weekend.

“They did well,” said coach Nick Deschenes, who was compelled to juggle lines after Dallas Calvin suffered a concussion last week.

He put Zuccarini with Lucchini and 16-year-old Robbie Johnson and the trio found some chemistry combining for 14 points in three games.

Both Lucchini and Zuccarini tallied six-points each with Lucchini netting two goals and two assists on Friday when he was named the game’s first star in in a 5-2 win over Powell River. The Trail native then pitched in with a goal and an assist in Surrey on Sunday in the Smokies’ 7-4 victory.

The 19-year-old, six-foot, 176-pound forward is playing in his third season with Trail and is tied with Zuccarini for third in BCHL scoring with six goals and eight assists and is just two goals shy of his eight-goal total of last season.

“He’s got the right attitude, and he put in the time this summer, and was very committed,” said Deschenes. “It’s taken him a little bit of time maybe to realize his potential and to put in the time he needs to be successful, and so he’s done that and he’s hungry.”

Lucchini’s good play should draw some interest from NCAA scouts, as he looks to join eight other Smoke Eaters who have committed to play NCAA hockey next season.

Zuccarini, 7-7-14, notched a goal and five assists on the three-game road trip, including a three-point game in the victory over Surrey.  The 19-year-old rookie burst his way onto the BCHL scene with a five-goal and one assist performance in the first game of the season, an 8-3 win over Coquitlam.

“He got off like gangbusters, and he’s probably quieted down a little bit. What’s really important is consistency with his game and that he does bring a level of intensity and work ethic every game.”

The five-foot-seven, 170-pound forward was recruited out of Shelton, Conn., where he played for the Connecticut Yankees of the U.S. Premiere Hockey League.

The Smokies are off to a 5-3-0-0 start and will host the Langley Rivermen on Saturday at the Cominco Arena at 7:30 p.m.