The result on the ice isn't the priority this Saturday at Cominco Arena when the Smokies play host to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack.
Smoke Eaters brass are hoping for a full house for the special exhibition fundraiser to raise funds for the family of assistant coach Barry Zanier. Zanier's daughter Kolby has been receiving medical treatment in Edmonton, a process that has forced the family to temporarily relocate to the Alberta capital and has also caused Zanier to be absent behind the Trail bench so far this season.
The Smoke Eaters website has more details here.
For fans, it's not as much about the product on the ice this weekend as it is about showing support for a member of the community. Smokies president Tom Gawryletz told me last week about his desire to see a full barn for the game (the interview is available here), a sentiment which I know is equally felt throughout the organization. Being a college team, the WolfPack are also set to provide a unique type of competition for the Smokies as both squads prepare for their 2011-12 seasons. And for a $6 ticket, it's a cheap, fun way to spend a Saturday night, all while supporting an important cause.
Hope to see each and every one of you at the rink!