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Familiar scene on Saturday night – Berger making yet another save.

On Saturday night at the Cominco Arena the Trail Smoke Eaters fired 50 shots at Merritt Centennials goaltender, Jacob Berger but could only muster 2 goals, losing 3-2.

Despite out-shooting the Centennials 22 – 12 in the first period the Smokies found themselves down 2-1 going into the second period.  Merritt opened the scoring at 1:51 of the period on a goal by Henry Gleghorn.  The Centennials went up 2-0 at 5:21 of the period on a goal by Nick Fidanza.  The Smokies cut the lead in half at 6:12 when Luke Santerno scored his 21st goal of the season.   Assisting on the goal was Smokies Andrea Ghantous with his 19th assist.

Merritt went up 3-1 at 7:43 of the second on a goal by Zach Risteau.  The Smokie’s Spencer McLean scored his 6th of the season to pull the orange & black to within 1, 3-2.  Andre Ghantous and Blaine Caton assisted on the goal.   It was Ghantous’s  20th assist of the season.

The Smokies fired 18 more shots at Centennial’s goalie, Berger, in the third period but could not overcome the 3-2 deficit.

Centennials goaltender, Jacob Berger,  with 48 saves was named first star of the game.  Smokie’s  Andre Ghantous with 2 assists was named second star and Centennial’s Henry Gleghorn was named third star.  Fortis Energy Player of the Game was Spencer McLean.

The Smokies could not have played any better and it was just a case of running into a very hot goaltender.  The night before, the Smokies coaching staff challenged the players to a good start and they stepped up to that challenge against Chilliwack and that carried over to the Merritt game with the team firing 50 shots on net.  Had it not been for a handful of goal posts and unlucky bounces the Smokies could easily have been on the winning end.    They now find themselves in a tie for second with the Vernon Vipers and with the win the Centennials have moved to within one point of the Smoke Eaters and the Vipers.

This season the Interior Division of the BCHL is, by far, the most competitive it has been for many years.  Fans attending Smoke Eater home games will be treated to some of the most competitive hockey games they have seen for several years.  The entertainment value of the price of admission is second to none.  In addition, the Smoke Eater organization allows all youth, 12 & under, into the game free if they are accompanied by an adult.  I would recommend making room in your busy schedule for a Smokie home game.   I guarantee you will not be disappointed.


Smokies next home game is on Wednesday, November 30 when they host the Penticton Vees.  Game time is 7:00 PM at the Cominco Arena.  The Spud Shack will be offering a $5.00 special – “Hot Dog & Fries.”  There will also be special pricing at the “Sud Shack.”