Who: Trail Smoke Eaters vs. West Kelowna Warriors
When: January 12, 7:30 PM
Where: Cominco Arena, Trail
The Smokies fired anything and everything at Salmon Arm’s Adam Clark a night ago, and will look to do the same this evening in search of a third successive home win over West Kelowna tonight.
Trail put a season-high 53 shots on the clock against the SilverBacks Friday, scoring three goals in the second period en route to an emotional 4-1 win. Austin Adduono broke a 14-game goal-less drought, while Jesse Knowler’s third goal this week stood up as the winner as Trail moved back into a share of a playoff berth.
Adam Todd made 31 saves to improve to 5-0 as a Trail netminder, but don’t be surprised to see Lyndon Stanwood back in action after backing up for the wins against Vernon and Salmon Arm.
If the Smokies come out with the same kind of energy we saw at Cominco Arena last night, one would have to like their chances against West Kelowna this evening. Trail has enjoyed success against the Warriors this season with three wins, but will need to be at their best against a West Kelowna club which despite having the Interior division’s most potent offense, is surely looking in their rear-view mirror.
Last Meeting: Connor Collett’s fortuitous overtime winner sealed Trail’s 4-3 victory in West Kelowna December 14th. Trail leads the season series 3-2.
Our Opponent: The Warriors added two veterans at this week’s trading deadline, acquiring Express captain Mitch Nardi and former Calgary Hitmen forward Danny Gayle from the AJHL in separate deals. Nardi scored twice in West Kelowna’s 6-2 win last night against Powell River. No Interior team has scored more than the Warriors’ 128 goals; even more impressive is that only Merritt (35) has played fewer games than the Warriors’ 36. Former Vernon forward Marcus Basara is enjoying a career year with 43 points (21-22), as is Harvard commit Seb Lloyd, who has 42 points in four fewer games. Expect Tyler Briggs to go again in goal for West Kelowna tonight though the team has had backup Steven Myland returned to them from WHL Swift Current. The 17 year-old picked up a shutout during his time with the Broncos.
In the Press Box: Brent Baltus and Bryce Knapp are likely out for the Smokies. Ambrose Firkus, Shawn Hochhausen, and Brent Lashuk all missed last night’s Warriors win while Brett McKinnon has been out long-term and is not expected to dress.
Broadcast Info: Watch tonight's game on FAST Hockey pay-per-view, or listen live at Smokies Ustream. Pregame coverage begins at 7:20 with the faceoff set for 7:30.