Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gameday: Smoke Eaters @ Warriors

Who: Trail Smoke Eaters @ Westside Warriors
When: Nov. 6, 2:30 PM
Where: Royal Lepage Place, West Kelowna

The weekend concludes for the Smoke Eaters with an afternoon affair in West Kelowna. After a pair of frustrating losses against Vernon and Salmon Arm, Trail will try to turn things around this afternoon against a Warriors club that has lost three straight games.

The Smoke Eaters had no shortage of chances last night, at least according to the shot counter in Salmon Arm. For the first time this season, Trail broke the 50-shot mark, but were foiled by Silverbacks goaltender Kurt Williams. Trail's power-play converted on a pair of opportunities, but once again the team found themselves in trouble short-handed during the first period, allowing two Silverback goals on three man-disadvantages.

Last Meeting: Trail and Westside haven't faced each other since opening weekend, which resulted in a pair of Warrior victories (7-3 and 5-1) at the Cominco Arena. In the latter game, Trail got on the board first courtesy Luke Bertolucci, only to have the Warriors storm back with five unanswered goals.

Our Opponent: The Warriors find themselves in an unfamiliar position, sixth in the Interior Conference. Westside has the tools to put the puck in the net, but have had trouble finding consistency between the pipes. Number one Steve Racine looked good the only two times I've seen the Warriors, and new backup James Leonard has KIJHL pedigree with the Golden Rockets. New college commit Tyler Krause leads the Warriors in scoring (9-13-22), followed closely by Connor Dempsey (8-13-21), who was possibly Westside's most dangerous forward on those two September evenings in Trail (not withstanding Krause's hat-trick on opening night). The towers of defense loom large as well, with Izaak Berglund, Michael King and Ben Betker all checking in at 6'4" or taller.

Broadcast Info: Jon Zacks has this afternoon's pay-per-view call, beginning at 2:30 here. Catch my broadcast at that same time here.

Local Hockey Today: The Grand Forks Border Bruins have one of the more curious road trips this weekend, after playing in Kimberley last night they face the Penticton Lakers this afternoon. Just down the road, Nelson is at Osoyoos while Castlegar visits Spokane. Former Coquitlam Express netminder Billy McGladrey served as the Rebels' backup last night in a 6-5 victory over Beaver Valley. After dropping a 7-5 decision in the opener, the major midget Kootenay Ice conclude a two-game set with the Vancouver NE Chiefs this morning at Cominco Arena. Faceoff is at 9:45.

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