Trail Smokies get set for Victoria Grizzlies

Nick Deschenes begins his coaching tenure with the Trail Smoke Eaters as they hit Cominco ice tonight to play the Victoria Grizzlies.

Nick Deschenes begins his coaching tenure with the Trail Smoke Eaters as they hit Cominco ice tonight to play the Victoria Grizzlies.

Deschenes was hired Monday night from the Grand Forks Border Bruins, and was on the ice with the Smokies at practice Tuesday. While the former Yale product is excited about the opportunity, he recognizes that there will be a transition period from the KIJHL to the BCHL.

“My duties officially start on Nov. 1 (tonight) so it’s going to be pretty intensive for me personally for the next probably month,” said Deschenes. “I’m going to do my best to make sure that things are left in good terms in Grand Forks and then I’m ready and available to get things rolling with Trail and helping the team get back on track.”

Victoria sits in third spot in the Island division with a 9-6-1-1 record and are led by Gerald and Myles Fitzgerald who have 23 and 22 points respectively on the season and are tied for fourth and fifth in league scoring.  Trail will face former Smokie Brandon Egli who recently committed to University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and has four goals and eight assists on the season as well as former Penticton Vee goalie Nic Renyard who has a 2.65 goals against average and a .912 save percentage in 10 starts.

The Smokies are also kicking off November by teaming up with the Canadian Cancer Society to raise awareness for men’s health and cancers “below the belt” at tonight’s home game.

“Grow-vember” will see Smokie players nurture their moustache-growing ability, and try to become the best Lanny McDonald or Tom Gawryletz they can be.

Starting with fresh faces, for the month of November, players will grow their moustaches as a fun way to raise awareness and money for a great cause.

Tonight fans can purchase a sticker moustache from the Cancer Society table, visit the photo booth, and take part in the puck-frisbee toss to win some great prizes that include gift certificates from the Royal Theatre, Subway, Arlington Bar and Grill, Café Michael, an Art Set from Delicious Baby and Toddler Boutique, day passes to the Trail Parks and Recreation and lots of great Trail Smoke Eater items.

Fans can check out players and staff progress on  the Trail Smoke Eater website, Facebook page, and at all home games. Support Growvember and visit the Smokies site at cancerevents.kintera.org/trailsmokeeaters to donate.

The puck drops tonight at 7:30 p.m.