Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gameday: Smoke Eaters vs. Vipers

Who: Trail Smoke Eaters vs. Vernon Vipers
When: November 3, 7:30 PM
Where: Cominco Arena, Trail

Trail can increase their lead over the Vipers to four points with a win tonight, and after last night’s dramatic victory over Chilliwack, the feeling has to be that anything is possible.

The Smokies fell behind 3-0 early to the Chiefs Friday, only to rally for a 5-4 thriller at Cominco Arena. Brent Baltus added two points to up his team-leading total to 21; that sum puts him tied for 5th in the BCHL in scoring entering play tonight.

Adam Todd endured a rough start to collect his first win in goal as a Smokie, and Austin Adduono also scored his first in a Trail uniform after leading the Superior International Junior Hockey League in scoring two seasons ago as a 17 year-old rookie.

No question, the confidence and emotions are at a peak entering tonight’s game, but the ever-tightening Interior division standings mean those emotions must also be tempered. Tonight’s game is a “four-pointer” to be sure, with both teams hungry for points as November kicks into high gear.

Last Meeting: The Smokies scored twice in the first period en route to a 3-0 home win September 29th. Lyndon Stanwood recorded his first BCHL shutout, and Scott Davidson scored his first BCHL goal late in the first period.

Our Opponent: The Vipers kept the gap between themselves and Trail at two points last night thanks to a T.J. Dumonceaux overtime winner at home against Nanaimo. Vernon, though, has struggled away from Wesbild Centre, winning only once. The loss of Castlegar’s Aaron Hadley to the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge should be dampened by the return of linemate (and cousin) Adam Tambellini from selection camp; the 18 year-old scored twice last night. The Viper goaltender of record from the last meeting, Joe Young, is no longer with the club after Vernon re-signed Danny Todosychuk, who had been with the KIJHL’s Golden Rockets.

In the Press Box: Defenseman Braeden Jones and forward Bryce Knapp remain on the long-term injury list. Jesse Knowler has also missed Trail’s last five games. Vernon’s lone listed injury is to forward Colton Sparrow, though Brendan Persley is out too.

Broadcast Info: watch tonight's game on FASTHockey pay-per-view, or listen live at Smokies Ustream. Pregame activities begin at 7:20 with the opening faceoff set for 7:30.

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