Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gameday: Smoke Eaters @ Capitals

Who: Trail Smoke Eaters @ Cowichan Valley Capitals
When: October 20th, 7:00 PM
Where: Island Savings Centre, Duncan

Two teams in need in need of points collide tonight in Duncan as the Smokies face former coach Jim Ingram and the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Trail's winless skid hit five games after a tough 4-3 setback in Victoria yesterday, and as has been the case in recent home outings, the Smokies deserved better but were unable to find an equalizer in a fast-flowing third period.

Tonight, Trail faces a Capitals squad that has won only twice this season and holds the worst record in the BCHL. That said, this Cowichan team is hard-working and talented, and already leads the season series with the Smoke Eaters after an emphatic victory at the Showcase in Chilliwack.

Tonight also marks the first chance for Smokies forward Luke Sandler to face the team with whom he started the 2012-13 season. The Chicago product scored his second goal as a Smoke Eater (and third overall) last night, and in chatting with him at the post-game meal last night, I can say for certain he's chomping at the bit, so to speak, to face his former mates.

We could also see the Trail debut of goaltender Adam Todd tonight. The large-framed netminder was picked up from Alberni Valley earlier in the week and with a 3-in-3 situation facing the Smokies this weekend, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the 18 year-old start either tonight or tomorrow in Surrey.

Last Meeting: The two clubs opened the 2012-13 season in Chilliwack September 8th, with Cowichan Valley riding four power-play goals en route to an 8-1 win. Garrett McMullen had the only Trail goal.

Our Opponent: The Caps have won only once since that first game of the season, and come into tonight's game fresh off a 5-1 setback in Powell River yesterday. Ex-WHLer Ryan Hanes leads the team in scoring with 8 goals, while fellow 20 year-old Mikael Jung had the only Cowichan goal yesterday. The Capitals have been busy in the trade market since the start of the season, including the deal with Trail that saw the Smokies acquire Sandler for the rights to forward Travis Stephens. Former Smokie Kyle Horsman was also signed earlier this month and should be in the lineup for his sixth game as a Capital tonight.

In the Press Box: Both Jesse Knowler and Braeden Jones left last night's game after the first-period incident with Victoria defenseman Chris Albertini (see last night's recap for more on that). Cowichan does not have any listed injuries.

Broadcast Info: Tonight's game will be available on FASTHockey pay-per-view, or listen live on Smoke Eaters Ustream. The show starts at 6:55.

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