Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gameday: Smoke Eaters @ Warriors

Who: Trail Smoke Eaters @ Westside Warriors
When: Feb. 25, 7:00 PM
Where: Royal Lepage Place, West Kelowna

Expect another short Trail bench tonight as the Smokies close out the season series with Westside in the Okanagan.

Trail dressed only 13 skaters in a 7-2 loss at Merritt last night, but could have only 12 tonight in West Kelowna barring AP callups (which is unlikely thanks to the KIJHL playoffs). Needless to say, plenty of icetime will be up for grabs tonight as the Smokies try to snap a seven-game skid under what could accurately be termed pretty harsh circumstances.

Last Meeting: A 4-1 victory for the Warriors last Thursday night in Trail. The Smokies have a 2-4 record so far this season against Westside.

Our Opponent: The Warriors might be a touch depleted themselves. Brett McKinnon made his return to the lineup against Prince George but the Warriors had only 15 regular skaters. That said, Westside still possesses a potent attack with the likes of Connor Dempsey and Marcus Basara to lean on. Shawn Hochhausen was the hero last Thursday, scoring twice in the aforementioned 4-1 Warrior win. Dwayne Rodrigue made 38 saves last night in the 4-1 loss to the Spruce Kings, the Quebec product has gotten the lion's share of the work in goal.

In the Press Box: Trail are without defensemen Joren Johnson and Marley Keca. Forwards Luke Bertolucci, Riley McDougall, Adam Fares and Brandon Long will all miss out too. The Warriors are minus blueliner Matthew Berry-Lamontagna and forwards David Pope and Seb Lloyd. Fellow forward Garrett Skrbich also did not dress last night.

Broadcast Info: At this moment, a Smokies away broadcast is listed as "questionable" thanks to the big dump of snow received last night. Check my Twitter account closer to puck drop for confirmation. Failing that, Jon Zacks has you covered on the PPV and home audio side, both avail. here.

Local Hockey Tonight: Beaver Valley will try for a two-game advantage tonight when they host Spokane in KIJHL playoff action (7:30, Beaver Valley Arena). The 'Hawks won 6-3 last night. The Nelson Leafs meanwhile go for a split in Castlegar (7:30, Complex). Despite outshooting the Rebels 31-27 in last night's Game 1, the Leafs fell 5-1. The major midget Kootenay Ice are back at home tonight hosting the Valley West Hawks (4:00, Castlegar Complex). The two sides will play a second game tomorrow morning at 9:30.

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