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.



sports@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Shorthanded Trail Smoke Eaters end rough road trip

The Trail Smoke Eaters drop all three games of Mainland Division road trip

CP Holiday Train headed to Castlegar

The festive food bank fundraiser will take place December 12.

Kootenay communities owe names to Chinook jargon

Place Names: Taghum, Lebahdo, Sitkum Creek, and Chahko Mika come from pidgin trade language

Trail police looking for tips to identify vandals

Greater district detachment reports several business were tagged with spray paint

WorkSafeBC investigating serious incident at Trail landfill

Incident shuts down McKelvey Creek landfill Friday morning

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read