Trail Smoke Eaters Kent Johnson (front) and Tyler Ghirardosi (back), along with defenceman Powell Connor were named assistant captains, prior to a weekend sweep of the West Kelowna Warriors. Jim Bailey photo.

Trail Smoke Eaters sweep West Kelowna Warriors

Trail Smoke Eaters name leadership group before finishing exhibition season

The Trail Smoke Eaters nailed down their leadership group, Thursday, then wrapped up their exhibition season with a sweep of the West Kelowna Warriors on the weekend.

The Smoke Eaters named three veteran players assistants to Trail captain Philippe Lapointe; Montrose native Tyler Ghirardosi, last year’s rookie phenom Kent Johnson, and defenceman Powell Connor will wear the ‘A’ for the 2019-20 BCHL season.

“We are very fortunate to have such a strong leadership group this season,” Trail coach and GM Jeff Tambellini said in a release. “All of our Captains have earned this role because of there work ethic on the ice and professionalism off the ice. Tyler, Powell, and Kent all have different leadership styles which we believe will compliment (captain) Phillipe Lapointe.”

Related read: Smoke Eaters captain embraces role with new team

After a 2-1 victory in Trail on Friday, the Smoke Eaters defeated the Warriors 3-1 on Saturday to end their four-game pre-season, following a split with the Grande Prairie Storm the previous week.

Related read: Trail Smoke Eaters split series with Grande Prairie Storm

Second year forward, Owen Ozar, scored the winning goal in both games, including a power-play, highlight-reel-clincher in Game 2.

Ozar moved the puck to Liam Freeborn at the point. Freeborn made a slick move around the forward, then dished to Ozar at the right dot. The Prince Albert product made a deft toe-drag around the West Kelowna defenceman and wired a shot top shelf on Warriors goalie Brock Baier to give Trail a 2-0 lead with 3:13 to play in the second period.

Despite the low score, it was a dominating win for Trail, outshooting the Warriors 37-21 on the night. The pair of two-game series showed a fast-skating, talented forward group, backed up by a strong defensive corps that plays with an edge.

Johnson opened the scoring, taking a pass from Ghirardosi behind the net, slipping the puck between his legs, then sending a backhand over the glove of Baer for a 1-0 lead with 7:37 to play in the opening frame.

West Kelowna spoiled the shutout bid by Trail goalie Logan Terness with 1:40 to play to make it 2-1, but Johnson added an empty netter 31 seconds later for insurance.

Terness was solid on the night, stopping 20 shots, while Trail special teams went 1-for-6 on the power play, and 3-for-4 on the PK.

In Game 1 on Friday in Trail, the Warriors jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but the Smoke Eaters battled back, dominating the game in the final two periods. Freeborn finished a setup from Johnson and Ghirardosi midway through the middle frame, and Ozar tucked home the winning goal with 4:41 to play for the 2-1 final.

Donovan Buskey stopped 18 shots in the Trail net, while Johnny Derrick faced 35 for the Warriors. Trail went 1-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

Trail opens the regular season against the Penticton Vees at home on Friday, with the puck drop at 7 p.m.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Beaver Valley Nitehawks win back-to-back at home

Beaver Valley Nitehaws defeat the 100 Mile House Wranglers and Sicamous Eagles for a weekend sweep

MVI sends 3 to hospital in Trail

Firefighters and RCMP attended the scene

Silver City putting a shine on bridge-to-park connector

Trail granted $250k for Groutage Avenue Revitalization Development project

Kootenay Lake ferry to shut down Saturday afternoon

Service to resume Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m.

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read