Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gameday: Smoke Eaters @ Kings

Who: Trail Smoke Eaters @ Powell River Kings
When: Oct. 29, 7:30 PM
Where: Hap Parker Arena, Powell River

Game Two of the three-game weekend swing goes tonight in Powell River, as the Smoke Eaters look to bounce back from a 4-3 overtime loss in Chilliwack last night. Trail secured a point thanks to a late equaliser from Erik Cooper, but allowed Chiefs forward Trevor Hills to put home the winner 39 seconds into the extra frame.

The Smokies weren't as physical last night in the Fraser Valley as they had been during the games against Penticton and Vernon at home last week, but despite that, really benefitted from the return of Adam Fares. The 6-5 Thunder Bay product had a goal and an assist Friday and used his size to open space for his linemates and to separate opposition players from the puck. No doubt the team missed the presence of leading scorer Clayton Chessa, who was handed a game misconduct in the first period for engaging in a multi-fight situation during a stoppage in play.

I also thought James D'Andrea deserved a better fate in his Trail debut. The 19 year-old told me last week his redeeming quality is his willingness to battle for every puck, and we saw that in spades last night. With three games in three days, though, Reed Vogt is sure to see some action.

Our Opponent: The Kings are coming off an impressive 5-0 victory over Westside last night, and are 6-0 at home to start the season. Powell River scored 4 power-play goals Friday, needless to say for the Smokies' discipline will be a primary area of focus. Overager Cohen Adair leads the Kings offensively with 17 points (10-7), he also leads the loop in short-handed goals with 4. Powell River's defense is BIG, case in point being second-leading scorer Craig Dalrymple (4-10-14), who checks in at 6-5. Sean Maguire picked up the shutout last night for the Kings, making 25 saves, but his partner in crime, import Jamie Phillips sits second in the league with a stingy 1.68 GAA. The one break for Trail is that Maguire, defenseman Jordan Paddock and forwards Teagan Waugh and Evan Richardson are all on their way to Langley for Team Canada West's camp in advance of next month's World Junior 'A' Challenge.

Broadcast Info: Kings broadcaster Alex Rawnsley has your requisite video and audio feeds tonight beginning at 7:30.

Local Hockey Tonight: A battle for first place in the KIJHL's Neil Murdoch division goes this evening in Fruitvale, as the Nitehawks host the Nelson Leafs (7:30, Beaver Valley Arena). Nelson lost 5-2 in Creston last night, meaning a Hawks win would catapult them into first place. Castlegar will be without defenseman Riley Ostoforoff tonight in Golden; he was ejected late in Friday's 6-1 victory at Columbia Valley. Rebels overager Scott Morisseau has 5 points from his first two games of the season. Selkirk College, fresh off a 3-1 defeat against Trinity Western University in Langley, continue a weekend trip through the Lower Mainland at my alma mater SFU tonight (7:00, Bill Copeland Arena).

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