When: Nov. 16, 7:00 PM
Where: South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton
The Smokies hit the road this afternoon for the second of three meetings with the Penticton Vees in a stretch of nine days. But unlike last Friday's contest at the Cominco Arena that saw the visitors score 6 times in the first period en route to a 7-2 win, Trail's opponents will have all of their firepower back in the lineup.
The short-handed Smokies will again be missing four regulars from the lineup (for a total of six players from the current roster unavailable for selection), and again will rely on affiliate call-ups to bridge the gap against the Interior Conference leaders.
Both teams are coming off impressive performances too: the Smokies were unlucky not to secure two points against Vernon on Saturday night, while Penticton's Connor Reilly put five goals past Westside netminders in a 7-4 victory Saturday.
Last Meeting: Ryan Reilly and Joey Benik each scored twice in the 7-2 Vees win on Remembrance Day, as Penticton stormed out of the gate with 6 first-period goals. The season series stands at 2-1 Vees, with the home team having won two of the three encounters.
Our Opponent: As alluded to earlier, the Vees get all their horses back in the lineup tonight following the World Junior "A" Challenge in Langley. Trail's Travis St. Denis, along with fellow Canada West stars Curtis Loik and Troy Stecher, and Americans Mario Lucia and Mike Reilly have all returned to the Peach City following a near two-week absence. Connor Reilly sits third in the BCHL with 34 points (15-19), but all four lines (and judging from Friday's game, affiliate callups) are dangerous. Former Powell River netminder Mike Garteig has been the goaltender of record for 12 of Penticton's league-best 14 wins, which includes a sterling 8-0-0-1 record at the South Okanagan Events Centre. I chatted with St. Denis yesterday about his gold-medal experience, to listen to that conversation (my apologies for the fluctuation in audio levels, my new work PC is in need of re-calibration), click here.
In the Press Box: Trail remains without forwards Kyle Horsman, Adam Fares and Josh Roberts while d-man Brandon Egli is also on the shelf. Penticton have yet to enjoy the services of blueliner Nick Amies (injury) or captain Logan Johnston (suspension). Both will be out tonight. Among Trail's callups, a trio of Castlegar Rebels: forwards Stuart Walton and Arthur Andrews, and defenseman Joren Johnson all told me yesterday they are making the trip.