Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gameday: Smoke Eaters vs. Centennials

Who: Trail Smoke Eaters vs. Merritt Centennials
When: September 9th, 2:30 PM
Where: Prospera Centre, Chilliwack

Right back to work for the Smoke Eaters as they face a familiar foe today in the Merritt Centennials. After a tough outing last night against Cowichan Valley, it's a perfect opportunity to salvage the weekend with a strong effort today.

Today's game will mark an opportunity for Braden Krogfoss to get his first start between the pipes. The 17 year-old came on in relief in the third period yesterday, surrendering three goals as the Smokies took several penalties due to frustration.

Trail will surely have a much better idea of their opposition given the two pre-season meetings last week, but as we found out last night, the regular season is a different animal altogether.

Last Meeting: The Smokies and Cents split the aforementioned pre-season home-and-home over the long weekend, with Merritt winning 4-2 on home ice last Friday, the Smokies winning 8-3 at Cominco Arena last Saturday. The last regular season meeting between the two sides was March 10th in Merritt, a game the Centennials won 5-2.

Our Opponent: The Cents are hoping to get into the win column for the first time this year as well, after 3 third-period goals paced Prince George to a 4-1 victory yesterday. Merritt will rely on 65-point man Derek Huisman, who was an offensive dynamo on Chilliwack's top line last season. Linemate Sebastien Pare (formerly of Langley), scored a hat-trick in Merritt's 4-2 pre-season win over Trail on August 31st. The Centennials have also recently signed former Smokies AP defenseman Dane Birks, who was trying out with the WHL's Spokane Chiefs. The 17 year-old did not dress yesterday.

In the Press Box: Trail will make three changes today, one forced due to Braeden Jones' late major penalty last night. Defenseman Wayland Williams will slot in, as will AP forward Matti Jmaeff. Anthony Conti will not dress today while Bryce Knapp remains out with a knock.

Broadcast Info: Today's game will be available on Fasthockey pay-per-view with audio on Smokies Ustream: pre-game show goes at 2:25 with the opening faceoff from Chilliwack is set for 2:30. I will also be covering the Centennials' radio feed on Q101 due to Cents' play-caller Graham Turnbull being ill. Get well soon Graham and I hope to see you in Merritt next weekend.

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