Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gameday: Smoke Eaters @ Rivermen

Who: Trail Smoke Eaters @ Langley Rivermen
When: Jan. 29, 2:00 PM
Where: Langley Events Centre, Langley

A busy weekend, and the January schedule both draw to a close this afternoon in Langley as the Smokies and Rivermen meet for the only time this season. Trail will get right back to work after Saturday's setback in Chilliwack, while the Rivermen are fresh off an offensive explosion last night at home to the Victoria Grizzlies.

And despite the Smokies falling 4-3 to the Chiefs last night, this team need not hang their heads. The 2012 version of Trail's BCHL entry has been competitive every night, and a win this afternoon would give the Smoke Eaters a 5-4-0-1 record for the month of January after a December that yielded no points.

Erik Cooper and Connor Tiechko have each scored five points this weekend already, as Trail's top line enjoys continued synergy. Cooper, the reigning BCHL player of the week put up four points (2-2) in his return to Surrey Friday while Tiechko had a pair of assists in his hometown of Chilliwack last night.

Our Opponent: The Rivermen scored early and often in last night's 13-2 home win over Victoria, with Derek Sutliffe putting up seven points alone and both Mike Tebbutt and former Smokie Darnell Dyck chipping in with five each. The Rivermen moved into sole possession of seventh place in the Coastal conference with the win and Alberni Valley's 5-4 loss in Powell River Saturday. It's been a re-building year for the re-vamped Langley squad with plenty of promise for next winter, including the likes of 16 year-old d-man Bo Pellah, and 31-point man Austin Plevy. With only three 20 year-olds on Langley's roster, the message is clear, that the future is now.

In the Press Box: As was the case for both Friday and Saturday's games, the Smokies will be without both Shane Poulsen and Adam Fares, with AP defenseman Adrian Coulter drawing in for a third consecutive game. Langley's only listed injury is to forward Scott Moyer.

Broadcast Info: Join me for all the action on Smokies Ustream beginning at 1:55. Brandon Astle has the pay-per-view here.

Local Hockey Today: Only one local KIJHL team is on the ice Sunday, as Beaver Valley visits Kimberley (2:00 MT, Kimberley Civic Centre). Each of the top five scorers in the league play for either the Nitehawks or the 'Nitros. The major midget Kootenay Ice wrap up a two-game set against the South Island Thunderbirds this morning too (10:00 am, NDCC Arena).

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