When: Nov. 9, 7:00 PM
Where: Sunwave Centre, Salmon Arm
For the second time in five days, the Smokies and Silverbacks go toe to toe at the Sunwave Centre. It will be a much different lineup tonight for Trail than the one that dropped a 7-4 decision in Salmon Arm on Saturday, as the dreaded injury bug has hit with force following a two-game road swing through the Okanagan/Shuswap over the weekend (more below in the "In the Press Box" segment).
What it means for Trail, is that potential Smokies of the future will get a chance to strut their stuff tonight. Two confirmed callups are Craig Martin (KIJHL Beaver Valley), who of course scored twice on the weekend, and 16 year-old defenseman Dane Birks (KIJHL Creston Valley), the son of Smokies bench boss Bill.
Reed Vogt is expected to get the start between the pipes as well after a sensational outing Sunday in Westside. The 18 year-old Lethbridge native stopped 33 shots in the 3-2 overtime win to collect his second victory of the season.
I chatted with head coach Bill Birks on Monday in advance of tonight's game, for that conversation click here. I also spoke with Sunday's OT hero, Clayton Chessa, following the game in Westside. To listen, click here.
New Face: Trail has added defenseman Shane Poulsen to the team's active roster. In 19 games this season with the KIJHL's Kamloops Storm, Poulsen scored 2 goals and totalled 16 points. The 17 year-old's 6-3 frame will add size to the back end. He's played 1 game in the BCHL this season, as an AP with Prince George.
Last Meeting: Devin Muller's four-point night paced the Silverbacks to a 7-4 win last Saturday at the Sunwave Centre. A wild first period saw Salmon Arm lead 4-3 after twenty minutes, but goals from Graham McBain and Alex Gillies early in the second period proved insurmountable, despite a 50-shot effort from Trail.
Our Opponent: The Silverbacks are hoping Saturday's win will provide some momentum to what has otherwise been a slow start. Three of Salmon Arm's four victories have come against Trail, and the Backs sit only three points up on the Smokies in the Interior Conference standings. Despite the likes of Morgan Zulinick, Bryce Gervais and Muller leading the charge offensively for Salmon Arm, bottom-six players like Mak Barden, Gillies, McBain and Kyle Oleniuk have been just as dangerous against Trail. The Silverbacks are a speedy bunch with a mobile defence, and on paper are better than their 4-9-0-4 record.
In the Press Box: Trail will be without forwards Kyle Horsman, Josh Roberts and Adam Fares as well as defencemen Brandon Egli and Tanner Hicks tonight. All are out injured. The Silverbacks will welcome back forward Jeff Kennedy after he served a one-game suspension Saturday night.
Broadcast Info: Scott Campbell will have your pay-per-view call this evening, as well as the free audio option. Both are available here.
Bits & Bites: Congrats to Nelson Leafs forward Patrick Martens. The 19 year-old was named the KIJHL Kootenay Conference Player of the Month earlier this week. I spoke with Martens Monday, to listen, click here. The Selkirk Saints picked up a pair of honours following a weekend sweep of Eastern Washington University. Goaltender Spenser Wong was named BCIHL Player of the Week, while forward Jordan Wood picked up Rookie of the Month honours. I chatted with Selkirk GM Jamie Friess earlier this week, listen here. Westside forward Shawn Hochhausen served the first of his two game suspension yesterday at Vernon. That penalty was incurred for the checking from behind major on Trail defenseman Nick Wong Sunday. Trail's Travis St. Denis and Castlegar's Aaron Hadley, along with their Team Canada West mates were shut out 2-0 by Sweden last night at the World Junior "A" Challenge in Langley. Canada West continues the tourney tonight against St. Denis' Penticton teammates, Mario Lucia and Mike Reilly, and the United States.