Who: Trail Smoke Eaters @ Merritt Centennials
When: Jan. 5, 7:30 pm
Where: Nicola Valley Arena, Merritt
A disappointing finish against Surrey must be firmly in the rear-view mirror ahead of tonight's matchup with the Cents in Merritt.
Trail surrendered 4 goals on 5 third-period shots in a 6-3 loss to the Eagles last night, and enter tonight's game three points behind Salmon Arm for the final Interior playoff berth.
As was the case last night, Shane Poulsen and Brent Baltus are not expected to dress, though Trail were not in need of an affiliate player yesterday for the first time in over a month.
The Smokies should well remember the last time out against this Merritt group. Trail hit, scored early, and asserted themselves on home ice in a 4-2 win December 18th. The fact that the Centennials will try to adhere to those three principles this evening is obvious, it's up to Trail to match the home club's energy and bear down on every offensive chance they get.
Last Meeting: Garrett McMullen scored the winner early in period three in the aforementioned 4-2 victory. Merritt leads the season series 4-1.
Our Opponent: The Centennials are riding high after an emotional win at home to Penticton last night. Leading scorer Regan Soquila scored twice (despite being much better-known for his play-making abilities), and even fought for the first time in his BCHL career. The Cents don't score a ton of goals, but are stingy at the back end thanks to a terrific work ethic and larcenous goal-keeping from Tyler Steel. Merritt also likes to play with a physical edge, especially at the cozy Nicola Valley Arena.
In the Press Box: Poulsen and Baltus are doubtful for Trail. Merritt are healthy.
Broadcast Info: Watch this space closer to gametime for audio/video links. Pregame coverage begins at 7:20.
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