Despite an 8-1 loss to Alberni Valley Bulldogs Friday, the Trail Smoke Eaters remain in the hunt for a playoff spot as they visit Westside tonight to take on the West Kelowna Warriors.
Thanks to a pair of Salmon Arm losses – 5-2 to the Warriors Friday, and 6-3 to Victoria Saturday – the Smokies can still claim a playoff spot, but time is running out.
The SilverBacks are just four points ahead of Trail, who with seven games remaining in their BCHL regular season, play the Warriors tonight followed by lowly Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday, and Merritt the following Thursday.
Wins are imperative at this juncture, particularly the next three meetings, as the Smokies finish off the season with a four game series against Interior division leading Penticton Vees.
The Warriors are led by Marcus Basara and Seb Lloyd with 58 and 55 points respectively, while the pesky 20-year-old Max French is a perennial irritation to opposing goalies.
Clarkson University commit Tyler Briggs will likely get the start in goal. Briggs has started all but three games for the Warriors this season, posting a 2.49 goals-against-average, and a stunning .922 saver percentage.
Adam Todd will be back with the Smoke Eaters for tonight’s game after a stint with Everett of the Western Hockey League on the weekend. Trail hosts Cowichan on Friday at the Cominco Arena at 7:30 p.m.