Trail Smoke Eaters: Trail gets bigger and healthier

With the acquisition of the six-foot-five, 210-pound veteran Penner, the Smokies will shore up an already talented blue-line corps.

The Trail Smoke Eaters dealt defenceman Viktor Dombrovskiy to the Prince George Spruce Kings for towering defenceman Steve Penner and rugged forward Cooper Leitch.

With the acquisition of the  six-foot-five, 210-pound veteran Penner, the Smokies will shore up an already talented blue-line corps. The 19-year-old Prince George native has two goals and two assists this season, is strong and steady and notoriously hard to play against.

“Coming from a game where we got physically outmatched by Vernon, both players bring a physical presence to this group, which we’re finding out we needed to some extent,” said Trail Smoke Eater coach and GM Nick Deschenes.

Leitch, meanwhile, is an 18-year-old, six-foot-two, 215 pound forward, who counted two goals and an assist in 27 games for the Spruce Kings.

“He moves really well for his size and I think his offensive numbers, being a first-year guy and probably not getting a lot of opportunity, are reflected of that, and I think the change of scenery might be good.”

This weekend the team returns to the Cominco Arena for games against the Vernon Vipers on Saturday and Powell River Kings on Sunday.

The Smokies are coming off a thrilling 3-1 win over the West Kelowna Warriors Friday, before falling to Vernon on Saturday.

The team has been battling significant injury and illness issues, but look to be healthier this weekend.

“It’s going to be a good test, and we’re almost healthy, except for Craig Martin . . . We’re in a little bit different situation from last week when we had four affiliate players dressed.”

Martin is out for a few more weeks with a knee injury, but the Smokies should have Penner and Leitch in the line up this weekend and will see the return of Bryan Basilico, Robert Johnson, and Jeremy Lucchini.

“It’s just the nature of the beast, a lot of teams have guys out long term. It’s a team sport and one guy will never make or break a team in my opinion no matter what the level, you always find ways.”

The Smokies have had a difficult time with the Vernon Vipers this season, unable to register a win in three matches.

“They’ve probably been the worst efforts we put forth this year especially in their building,” said Deschenes. “Putting a couple of those together is just not a good combination, but we have an opportunity on Saturday to redeem ourselves, and we’ll see how we respond.”

On the upside, Trail is 2-0 against a good Powell River team, which is 13-7-06 and currently sit in second in the Island division.

The Smokies played the Penticton Vees on Wednesday night in Penticton, but scores were unavailable at press time.

Puck drop against the Vipers goes at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Cominco Arena, and at 3 p.m. Sunday against the Powell River Kings. Special admission to Sunday’s game is $5 for all in attendance.

See more on the Trail-Penticton game in Friday’s Trail Times.

Just Posted

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

Cropped photo: Silver Screen Drive-in will be in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza.
Summer drive-in returns to Trail unveiling blockbuster movies

PHOTOS: Scroll to bottom for a trip down memory lane to the Auto Vue Drive-In

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read