It’s a Friday night on the coast for the Trail Smoke Eaters.
They take on the Express in Coquitlam in the only game between these two this season.
The Smokies are off to an excellent start to the second half of the season.
Last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Vernon gives Trail a 6-2 record since Christmas. It also saw the team’s hottest player put together a three point performance.
Mathieu Cobetto-Roy had a goal and two assists and has compiled 27 points in 17 games, including 15 goals to climb back into the top 10 in the BCHL scoring race.
The injury absences of 20-year-old forwards Adam Marshall, Max Potvin and Ethan Mann gave Chase Stefanek a chance on the first power play unit and the rookie responded with a goal and an assist with the man advantage and added the empty net insurance marker.
Marshall and Potvin are back in the lineup in Coquitlam after missing seven and 12 games respectively with upper body injuries.
The foundation of the Smoke Eaters’ second half success is a goals against average of 1.87, while goals for are at 3.5 per game.
The power play goal surrendered against the Vipers was the first in 22 opposition advantages.
The Express are coming off a 4-3 loss Wednesday afternoon in Langley. The Coquitlam crew are looking to turn things around with four losses in their last five games.
They will continue to look for Drew Garzone and Jake Manfre to lead the way. Garzone is a point ahead of Cobetto-Roy in the points race, while Manfre leads all BCHL rookies with 35 points and is second among first-year goal scorers with 19.
It’s also a big game in the standings for the Smokies. A win would pull them to within a single point of the idle Vipers in the race for fourth and home ice advantage in the first round of the Interior Conference playoffs.