Friday, October 12, 2012

Gameday: Smoke Eaters vs. Express

Who: Trail Smoke Eaters vs. Coquitlam Express
When: October 12, 7:30 PM
Where: Cominco Arena, Trail

Trail tries to stretch its home win streak to five games tonight when they take on a Coquitlam team battling for first place in the Mainland division. The Smokies have posted some fairly impressive home-ice victories already this season, and tonight will prove just as much a challenge for a team looking to rebound from a tough weekend in the Okanagan.

6-0 and 7-2 losses at West Kelowna and Penticton last Friday and Saturday night were moreso the result of opponents capitalizing on miscues rather than overall poor team play, and to me, neither score respected the hard work Trail did put in over the weekend. Brent Baltus became the first Smokie this season to hit double-digits in points (scoring his team-leading 6th goal of the year on his birthday no less), while local product Mitch Foyle also opened his account Saturday in Penticton, converting a nifty cross-ice feed from linemate Jake Lucchini.

Goaltender Lyndon Stanwood will surely be called upon again this weekend. The 19 year-old has recorded all five of Trail’s victories and has been one of the three stars in every Smoke Eaters home game so far this season. Stanwood has surrendered only five goals in four home-ice starts, including a shutout September 29th against Vernon.

Last Meeting: The two sides only met once during the 2011-12 season, a 5-3 win for Coquitlam January 13th at Cominco Arena.

Our Opponent: Coquitlam (6-3-1-0) surrendered the Mainland division lead to Chilliwack Wednesday after a remarkable third-period comeback by the Chiefs against Langley. The Express have gotten off to a great start defensively, led by 20 year-old goaltender Cole Huggins’ 1.90 GAA and 2 shutouts. The return of 19 year-old vet Mark Begert from college and overager Beau Orser from Surrey have also helped Coquitlam’s back end. Up front, the Express are led by New Jersey draftee Alex Kerfoot (5-7-12) and California import John Siemer (4-8-12). Siemer, coincidentally, scored twice the last time these two teams met. Both Huggins and 20 year-old forward Malcolm McKinney secured their futures this week, with Huggins committing to MSU-Mankato and McKinney to the University of Vermont.

In the Press Box: The Smokies are without any listed injuries. Coquitlam will be without defenseman Jason Bird, who underwent shoulder surgery last month.

Broadcast Info: Catch tonight's game on FASTHockey pay-per-view or listen live on Smokies Ustream. The show begins at 7:25.

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