Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gameday: Smoke Eaters @ Spruce Kings

Who: Trail Smoke Eaters @ Prince George Spruce Kings
When: Oct. 15, 7:00 PM
Where: PG Coliseum, Prince George

The Smokies will go for the split tonight in Prince George after a difficult night last night in the opener to this two-game weekend series. PG won Friday's contest 8-0 thanks to two-goal nights from both Michael Colantone and Jujhar Khaira.

For the Smoke Eaters to be successful tonight, the forward corps will need to find a way to penetrate Prince George's sizeable defence. Something I noticed last Saturday in Salmon Arm and last night as well was many of Trail's shots came from just inside the blue line or from the perimeter, and the Spruce Kings didn't allow Trail much of an opportunity to set up down low.

I also get the impression that the slightest amount of success would go a long way to boost the morale of this team. The Spruce Kings scored some original goals last night, including one that bounced off a forward's face to fall into the wheelhouse of Michael Klonarakis in the slot. Trail simply hasn't gotten many bounces through the first eight games of the season, and despite the efforts of the likes of Logan Proulx to fire up the squad with a second-period fight, the Smokies couldn't answer back to a wave of Prince George pressure that didn't let up until the game was well out of reach.

Our Opponent: The Spruce Kings are on a roll, and it all started with a last-gasp victory on home ice a week ago against Penticton. If last night was any indication, Prince George can score in bunches, for instance Paul DeJersey's 12 goals this season (tops in the BCHL by the way) eclipse the 11 he had scored in 93 previous BCHL games with Burnaby/Coquitlam and Salmon Arm. The combination of Khaira and Colantone was dangerous all night as well.

In the Press Box: The Smokies will again be without forwards Kyle Horsman, Adam Wheeldon and defenseman Brandon Egli tonight, while PG's Jeff Earnest and Jared Crossan remain out long-term.

Broadcast Info: As was the case last night, there will be no Trail audio feed this evening. The Prince George crew has tonight's call both for the pay-per-view and the accompanying audio, to listen, click here.

KIJHL Tonight: Lots of action this evening in our local junior "B" circuit, including what should be a heated battle in Fruitvale. The Nitehawks host the Rebels in the first meeting between the two sides since Castlegar won a playoff series last year (7:30, Beaver Valley Arena). The Nelson Leafs go for a two-game Okanagan sweep in Penticton against the Lakers (7:30, SOEC). Of note, Smokies AP Colton Schell had 6 points in last night's 9-2 win at Summerland.

But Still: A good start at home for the Selkirk Saints last night as they defeated UVic 4-2. Jordan Wood registered a hat-trick in the victory. The two sides go at it again tonight (7:30, Castlegar Complex). The major midget Kootenay Ice open up a two-game set in Chase tonight against the Thompson Blazers (4:00, Art Holding Arena).

No comments: