Who: Trail Smoke Eaters @ Vernon Vipers
When: Sept. 16, 7:00 PM
Where: Wesbild Centre, Vernon
The Smokies begin the final weekend of the exhibition campaign tonight in Vernon against the three-time defending BCHL champion Vipers. Trail should be feeling pretty confident after a 5-2 win last Friday in Salmon Arm that saw newcomer Matt Bissett score twice and the club limit the Silverbacks' offense after falling behind early on the road.
Head coach Bill Birks says his club is down to 22 players (13F, 6D, 3G) for the weekend (to hear a full interview conducted on Wednesday, click here), with the team's final roster to come Monday or Tuesday of next week. Four faces, J.J. Beitel, Luke Bertolucci, Kyle Horsman and Brandon Long have already been added to the club's active roster, with more to come I'm sure over the next few days.
Our Opponent: Although no regular-season points are on the line, the Vipers will provide another tough test for the Smokies tonight. Two local products, Ryan Renz and Aaron Hadley attended Team Canada West's evaluation camp for the upcoming World Junior 'A' Challenge in Canmore, AB this week (along with, of course, Smokies goaltender Matt Larose). Offseason acquisition Jarryd Ten Vaanholt, who comes to Vernon from Salmon Arm via Kindersley in the SJHL, should be a leader up front for Vernon after putting up 50 points with the Silverbacks a year ago.
Broadcast Info: As far as I know, the Vipers will not be putting this one to air. Our Smoke Eaters internet broadcast coverage begins with the regular season home-opener next Friday against Westside.