According to the opposition broadcasters, (yours truly has been dizzier than usual and medicating, so missed the game) the final score Wednesday night at Cominco Arena was the result of a Smoke Eater 60-minute effort against something less than that from the nationally-ranked Penticton Vees.
Huh, so that’s all it took – Trail had to play hard all night.
Not being witness to the event, I can’t argue that take, but statistically Wednesday was the first home game in which the Smokies matched their opponent in the second period and that will always make a difference in the scoreline.
It’s encouraging that some of Trail’s few returning veterans stepped up offensively, and that the Smokies scored a couple of power play goals.
It’s all about about signs of improvement, and just the scoreboard indicates there were several.
So, the Vernon Vipers, who will also be coming off a battle with the Vees, are up next for Trail. If history means anything, the Smokies will need an even stronger effort against the Vipers than they produced against the Panthers. The Smoke Eaters have had very little success against Vernon in recent years and the Vipers appear to be once again an elite BCHL team.
Now that Trail has broken the home ice bubble, however, there is reason to hope they are getting on track to competitiveness.
Health issues being solved, I will be at the rink to see how much the Smokies have improved, and probably how far they still have to go. – You should be, too.